Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept: First Look


Looks like: The new face of Volkswagen SUVs, probably

Defining characteristics: Plug-in hybrid drivetrain, chiseled exterior styling, Bauhaus-inspired interior

Ridiculous features: Multimedia system's gesture controls, joystick-like shifter

Chance of being mass-produced: The production SUV arriving by the end of 2016 should look a lot like this

If you want to know what Volkswagen's upcoming seven-seat SUV will look like then take a look at this. It's the five-seat Cross Coupe GTE concept, and Volkswagen says its front-end styling foreshadows the new SUV. That model is slated to be built at VW's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., by the end of next year.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The Cross Coupe GTE is the third concept SUV Volkswagen has shown in recent years, but it looks a lot like the second one: the CrossBlue Coupe concept . The Cross Coupe GTE has more muscular wheel arches and more traditional taillights, but the overall shape and size of the two concepts are similar.

By Mike Hanley | January 11, 2015 | Comments (1)

2015 Kia Soul EV: Car Seat Check


Kia's quirky box probably doesn't immediately jump to mind when you think of a family vehicle, but the Kia Soul has more room for kids and cargo than its compact dimensions suggest. The gas-powered Kia Soul, which was redesigned for the 2014 model year, performed admirably in our Car Seat Check, but what about the new-for-2015 electric version? Although the 2015 Kia Soul EV gives up some interior space to make room for the battery and has unique seats, small families won't have any problems installing two child-safety seats in the backseat.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Geiger | January 8, 2015 | Comments (0)

Chevrolet Teases 2016 Volt


Chevrolet unmasked the 2016 Chevrolet Volt at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week before its full reveal at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 12. Based on the initial photos, the next-generation range-extender plug-in electric hybrid Volt receives a significant styling overhaul on top of the efficiency improvements Chevrolet previously outlined.

Related: More 2015 Detroit Auto Show News

Chevrolet promises the 2016 Volt will be more efficient than the current generation thanks to a revised propulsion system featuring a battery with increased storage capacity and a more efficient two-motor drive unit. The 2015's 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine gets the boot for a direct-injected 1.5-liter four-cylinder with the promise of increased efficiency. More details will be announced at the Detroit auto show on Jan. 12.

Manufacturer image

By Joe Bruzek | January 5, 2015 | Comments (1)

Honda, Acura Announce Auto Show Reveals


The 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is less than a month away, and the planned reveals are starting to trickle out. Acura just announced it will unveil the production version of its NSX super car and Honda will show off a new fuel-cell concept, the FCV.

Related: More 2015 North American International Auto Show News

Although Acura only released veiled teaser images, the NSX should look somewhat familiar. The concept version debuted in Detroit in 2012 and then showed up again at the 2013 show. Acura says the one at the 2015 show is the real deal. The production version of the mid-engine supercar will use a three-motor, twin-turbocharged Sport Hybrid power unit and go on sale in 2015. It will meet the press on Jan. 12. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld should be happy.

By Jennifer Geiger | December 17, 2014 | Comments (2)

Report: BMW to Build Plug-in Versions of Several Vehicles


BMW plans to add plug-in hybrid versions to all its major models starting with the popular 3 Series, Bloomberg News reports. The German automaker previewed the technology with an X5 eDrive concept at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Now it plans to introduce the technology, which AutoWeek says will retain the eDrive branding, in several cars.

Related: 2014 BMW i8 Video

BMW recently presented a plug-in 3 Series in France with an estimated electric range of 22 miles. The automaker also wants to roll out plug-in versions of the X5 and other "core models," Bloomberg reports; plug-in Mini and Rolls-Royce hybrids — both BMW Group brands — are a possibility, too.

By Kelsey Mays | December 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

2016 Toyota Mirai Video

"Toyota delivers on a mission announced in 2010 to deliver a hydrogen fuel-cell electric sedan by 2015 priced around $50,000. Well, here it is: the all-new Toyota Mirai," reviewer Kelsey Mays said last week as he got up close to the model-year 2016 fuel-cell electric vehicle at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Watch the video to see what Mays found out.

Watch on YouTube

By Matt Schmitz | November 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV Photo Gallery (21 Photos)


Mitsubishi says the plug-in electric hybrid crossover concept it unveiled this week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show hints at the future stylistic direction its vehicles could take. If that's the case, designers must have been watching a lot of Mexican wrestling when they dreamed up the XR-PHEV judging by its intimidating countenance, which makes the vehicle look like its wearing a lucha libre mask, while the sweptback and downward-sloping look of its profile suggests the masked grappler has just launched himself off the top rope and is sailing through the air, about to drop an elbow on his opponent on the floor of the ring.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

According to Mitsubishi Motors North America Executive Vice President Don Swearingen, the XR-PHEV had another objective besides showing off a bold new design. "We also brought it to L.A. to reinforce the message that Mitsubishi is here to stay in the United States," he said in a statement. "As we regrow the brand, we will introduce new models while updating existing ones, creating a new look and a new value proposition for the brand."

Check out the gallery below; photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | November 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

2016 Toyota Mirai Photo Gallery (23 Photos)


Looking dead-on at the 2016 Toyota Mirai is like coming face to face with a giant manta ray. The all-new hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle — bowing this week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show about four years after Toyota originally announced it — bears the visage of a sinister sea creature, thanks in large part to those inverted-triangular grilles underneath the Mirai's narrow-eyed headlights. The rest, as we've previously described, resembles a Toyota Corolla viewed through a funhouse mirror, all swooping lines and bulging rear fenders.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

Inside the Mirai is seating for four and a host of safety and tech features, including precollision warning, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights, Toyota's Entune multimedia system with three years of Safety Connect and a hydrogen station map app. Also, ownership has its privileges, namely a 24-hour concierge service hotline, roadside assistance and complimentary maintenance.

Check out the gallery below; photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | November 20, 2014 | Comments (3)

Volkswagen Debuts Fuel-Cell Concept Car at 2014 L.A. Auto Show


Fuel-cell vehicles have recaptured the alternative-fuel spotlight from electric and plug-in hybrids of late, and Volkswagen is the latest automaker to show its vision for a fuel-cell car with the debut of the Golf SportWagen HyMotion concept at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

It's a vision that may look very familiar to you, as the Golf SportWagen HyMotion is based on the new Golf SportWagen production car and has very few styling differences. It's a significantly different approach than Toyota is taking with its futuristic-looking Mirai fuel-cell car, which goes on sale in California late next year, but Volkswagen says its strategy is to put alternative-fuel drivetrains in high-volume models like the Golf family.

In this case, the alternative-fuel drivetrain is a fuel-cell system engineered by Volkswagen. The fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity that drives an electric motor. The electric motor is related to the one in Volkswagen's all-electric e-Golf production car, and four carbon-fiber hydrogen tanks located in the floor of the car give the Golf SportWagen HyMotion an estimated range of 310 miles and a refueling time of about three minutes.

By Mike Hanley | November 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 BMW i8 Video

The 2014 BMW i8 is "a head-turner of epic proportions," says reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder. "It is sporty, it is quick, especially if you consider that it is a plug-in gasoline electric hybrid." Watch the video for more.

Watch on YouTube

By Matt Schmitz | November 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

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