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Hybrid Cars

Porsche Plugs Into Electric Future, Doubles Spending On Electrification

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Porsche Mission E Electric Car Charging

Porsche has announced plans to invest more than $7.5 billion by 2022 to expand its lineup of plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles, further expressing its full commitment to the electric car segment.

The production, Tesla Model S and Model 3-rivaling Mission E is on its way, as is a hybrid gasoline-electric version of the iconic Porsche 911. In fact, a big chunk of that investment ($623 million) will be dedicated to developing other versions of the Mission E and several distinct models based on its platform.

Another $1.24 billion will go towards adding hybrid versions of existing Porsche models, while $872 million will be used for new technologies, charging infrastructure and smart mobility.

Some of the investment is also being used to develop a new paint shop, a body shop, a dedicated assembly area, and a conveyor bridge to transport the Mission E’s painted bodies and drive units to the final assembly area in Zuffenhausen. The company’s existing engine plant is being expanded to manufacture electric drivetrains.

Porsche says the Mission E project has so far created 1,200 new jobs and expects the pure-electric sedan to arrive sometime in 2019 with three available powertrain options.

Hybrid Cars

Toyota Admits It Beat The Prius Hybrid With The Ugly Stick

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2016 Toyota Prius hybrid

They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and that design is subjective, but does that really apply to the latest Toyota Prius hybrid, a car universally panned for its overdesigned exterior? I for one don’t think so, and it appears Toyota doesn’t, either.

The Japanese automaker did a better job with the more ascetically-palatable Prius Prime plug-in hybrid and will reportedly give the standard, head-scratching Prius hybrid a facelift to make it look more like it.

According to Japan’s , the 2019 model year Prius will have less awkward-looking headlights that are similar to those of the Prius Prime, as well as a revised rear end that addresses the tall and weirdly-shaped taillights. Its overall body shape and associated lines will remain unchanged.

Is this an admission from the company that the Prius is ugly? Perhaps. The changes will not only hopefully make the Prius look a bit better, but will also improve sales, which have dropped over the last few years in segment the model essentially owns outright. Its overdone styling likely has something to do with the decline.

Has Toyota finally figured out that ugly doesn’t sell?

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Crossovers

Why Lease? New Lexus UX Is Available Via Subscription

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New Lexus UX Crossover

Following in the footsteps of Volvo, Cadillac and Porsche, Lexus has announced a nee subscription service for the all-new UX crossover and possibly other models.

The ‘Care by Volvo’ subscription service, in particular, lets you subscribe for select Volvo model at a flat monthly rate that includes the monthly cost of the car, insurance and servicing. Lexus’s service should work in much the same way.

The UX will likely not be the only model available for subscription, but we’ll have to wait and see what the other Lexus models will be.

When the subcompact crossover goes on sale in 2018, it will be offered in two versions — the UX 200 and UX 250h. The UX 200 is powered by a new, 168-hp 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that powers the front wheels via a new Direct Shift-CVT featuring traditional gears in addition to the belt mechanism that is said to improve the poor driving experience that plagues most CVTs. It is not offered with all-wheel drive, unfortunately.

Stepping up to the UX 250h gets you an Atkinson Cycle hybrid system that generates a combined 176 horsepower and a 38 combined MPG rating. The addition of an electric motor to the rear axle grants it all-wheel drive.

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Ford

Ford Fusion Gets Standard Safety Tech, Better Electric Range For 2019

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Updated, 2019 Ford Fusion Sedan

The Ford Fusion has recieved incremental upgrades for its 2019 model year.

Ford’s midsize family sedan now comes standard with the company’s Co-Pilot360 driver-assistance suite, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, rear backup camera and auto high-beams. An embedded 4G LTE modem providing Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices is also now standard on every trim level besides the base Fusion S.

A 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine has been extended to the basic Fusion SE and higher trim levels, while the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid boasts a 20 percent boost in all-electric range to 25 miles (~ 40 km) thanks to a new 9.0-kilowatt-hour air-cooled lithium-ion battery.

All models have been updated with a slightly revised front and rear end fascias, two new wheels options, and a few different color choices.

The updated, 2019 Ford Fusion goes on sale in summer 2018.

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