The US EPA has proposed new tailpipe emissions limits that could require as much as 67% of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2032 to be all-electric.
As part of the EPA’s proposal for its upcoming regulatory update, the Environmental Protection Agency has stated that it intends to remove emissions exemptions that are in place for motorsport participants who seek to turn vehicles designed for public use into track-dedicated race cars.
We are in the midst of a season of somewhat confusing electric vehicle launches. The confusion stems from the way these recent and upcoming EVs challenge conventional thinking about the value proposition for new cars.
Tesla’s Model S is one of those products that transcends the barriers of normal physical existence to become a cultural phenomenon. Perhaps it is a low-grade phenomenon, but it has become a phenomenon nonetheless. With a product like this, a lot of people have opinions about it and many are interested in how it works. A lot of journalists also write sometimes semi-stupid things about it adding to the confusion we’re accustomed to in daily life with the result that urban myths develop that are simply wrong (bet you’re not surprised) but are also plausible enough to increase confusion further.
The styling is one big deal here, because the car drives pretty well within the context that cars in this class are on the bland side dynamically (and we can’t predict reliability with one or two samples).
In Acura’s television ads, the ILX is billed as offering a just-right blend of premium-brand luxury, fun, and down-to-earth practicality—a blend that, in Acura’s own words, invites drivers to “move up (without) settling down.” Given this, one might assume the ILX Tech Hybrid would fit roughly the same mold, but with a distinctly energy-efficient “green” twist, and to a certain extent it does just that.
This is a car we really could live with. Our tester, a Sport Navi trim, costs just $20,480 including destination charges. If you ask us, that’s not too bad for a car with all the stuff we need, and none of the stuff we don’t. The navigation features voice controls, there’s a decent setup for audio controls on the steering wheel, and Bluetooth and USB audio come standard at this level. In addition, the cost of living with the Fit remains low, with its EPA-estimated 27 miles per gallon city, and 33 mpg highway.
The iQ EV joins Toyota’s RAV4 EV and Prius Plug-In Hybrid as the Japanese brand’s chargeable offerings. It only packs 63 horsepower, but torque is up to 120 pound-feet. Combine that with a 50 mile range and a three-hour charge time on a 240-volt plug, and it makes a fair bit of sense as a gas-free city car. It should hit 60 miles per hour in a leisurely 13.4 seconds, and will cover 30 to 50 miles per hour in nearly half that time. Top speed is 78 miles per hour.
But being small is part of the point. Its diminutive size makes the Prius C ideal to drive in urban environments. It is superbly easy to park, and to maneuver in heavy stop-and-go traffic or the tight confines of a parking lot. Its city gas mileage is slightly better than its bigger brother (53 miles per gallon versus the Prius liftback’s 51), but suffers a bit on the highway (46 versus 48 mpg). That’s the same average fuel economy as the standard Prius, which is as good as it gets without going all-electric—undoubtably the nameplate’s most famous attribute and greatest draw. In all, the C makes efficient work of in-town commutes, and feels right at home at the slower speeds of city traffic.
The basic reason that many enthusiasts will have trouble with the FR-S and BRZ is that many sports car buyers still accept the logic of “faster is better” and the related meme “more power is faster.” I propose here that these ideas will be less of an issue to greenformance buyers, and therefore that the FR-S and BRZ might be the car(s) you’ve been waiting for. If not those cars, there are others that fit a similar model of driving pleasure.
While it’s not what we’d call fun to drive, the Kia Sorento is a seriously comfortable family hauler, with good looks, decent fuel economy, and an unbelievably reasonable price tag.
Acura has unveiled the RLX Concept at the 2013 New York Auto Show. When we say RLX Concept, we actually mean 2014 RLX, which is what this is. Honda, and by extension Acura, have a habit of showing very thinly veiled production cars under the guise of concepts, which is exactly what’s been done here. In fact, we’ve already been told that sales will start in the beginning of 2013.
The fuel economy numbers for Ford’s new Taurus-based Police Interceptor are in, handily outclassing its predecessor by 25 percent overall. The real news is that fuel economy at idle increases 35 percent on the Interceptor sedan and 32 on the Interceptor utility vehicle.
Now, make no mistake, this Camry is no sports sedan. The car is “all motor,” by which I mean the only really fun/dynamically distinguishing feature of the vehicle is the power it offers, and the quickness with which it lays that power down. The rest of the package is very subdued, soft, and quiet in terms of driver feedback.
We saw the concept in Detroit, and now Acura has debuted the production version of its ILX compact sedan. The new car marks a move downmarket for Acura, representing a sub-TSX line meant to draw younger buyers into the fold.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have before us something of a quandary.
In the modern motoring world of pricy gasoline and pricier diesel, sourcing a vehicle that can turn 30 miles per gallon or greater on the highway isn’t hard. And we’re not talking about anemic little econoboxes with bodies made from tin foil–these days being frugal can mean a handsomely optioned mid-sizer like a Nissan Altima, or a sporty 300-plus-horsepower speed machine like a V-6 Mustang.
Consider the Fisker Karma ready for consumption. The EPA certification has officially finished, with the slinky Fisker Karma receiving a rating of 52 MPGe. EPA testers covered 32 miles before the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder kicked in to recharge the Karma’s batteries.
The Rio five-door is one of the new B-segment cars that now seem to be proliferating on our shores. If you haven’t been following this closely, we’ll jog your memory by mentioning the Honda Fit, the Ford Fiesta, the Nissan Versa, the Chevrolet Sonic, the Toyota Yaris, and the Mazda2. With EPA regulations forcing up average fuel economy numbers through 2016 and beyond, suddenly Americans are getting small cars whether they want them or not. Turns out the Rio has plenty to offer. But to understand that, you have to view the car from the right perspective.
Bentley has released the full specifications on its second-generation Continental GTC ahead of its debut in Frankfurt next month. The 2012 model features more power, updated driving dynamics, and an improved interior, among other new ingredients.
For drivers, this escalation in fuel prices sucks big time. But let us not despair. Some of our favorite driver’s cars also happen to best the competition in fuel economy, whether sipping regular, premium, or diesel, and even sometimes with a chaser of electrons from a battery pack.
Who doesn’t love some good, old fashioned cross-referencing? In advance of Winding Road Issue 70, which will lay forth some of the most involving cars with which to beat $4 gasoline, we have made this graph. It shows us which subcompact cars (as defined by the EPA) do the best job of balancing fuel economy and driver involvement.