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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?

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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Hybrid Cars

Get Ready For A Porsche 911 Hybrid, The Most Powerful 911 Ever

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New, 2019 Porsche 911

After denying the possibility of a gas-electric version of its iconic sports car, Porsche has confirmed that the next-generation Porsche 911 will indeed offer buyers a plug-in hybrid variant.

August Achleitner, head of 718 and 911 development, previously stated that the “disadvantages outweighed the advantages” for such a model, but it seems the company has found a way to make things work.

The Porsche 911 hybrid won’t be ready when the new 911 (992) arrives in 2019. When it does finally go on sale, it could be the most powerful and one of the fastest 911 ever with around 700 horsepower to work.

In an interview with , Porsche head honcho Oliver Blume, stated:

“The 911 plug-in must be a very strong performing car. It will be the most powerful 911 we’ve ever had; 700bhp might be possible.”

Blume didn’t reveal any technical specifications, but there are speculations that the plug-in hybrid powertrain could consist of a 136 horsepower electric motor and a turbocharged flat-six engine, with Porsche’s engineers appling some of the lessons learned from the 918 Spyder to create a truly world-class performance machine.

He added that the car will have “a special button for the electric punch,” indicating a race car-style push-to-pass function.

The Porsche 911 PLug-in Hybrid will likely arrive a couple years after the new 911 debuts at the 2018 Paris Motor Show in October, possibly wearing the Turbo S E-Hybrid nameplate.

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