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My Perfect Automobile

Classic VW Bug Goes Electric


A California man has become the state’s self-appointed expert for converting classic Volkswagen Beetles into snazzy-looking electric cars. David Bernardo specializes in models that came off the assembly line between 1958 and 1966. After removing the original motors and substituting electric ones, he places battery packs in two separate locations on each vehicle. To retain [...]

Prius Tops ‘Safe Cars for Teens’ List


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released their picks for safe cars for teen drivers. Topping the rankings among mid-size cars that cost less than $20,000 was the Toyota Prius v, specifically for model years 2012 and later. Each year, the IIHS tests hundreds of cars and trucks to determine the best safety buys for [...]

Breaking News: Tesla Model 3 Set for 2017


Amid much speculation about Tesla Motors’ follow-up to the Model X, the company has finally confirmed that its small electric sedan, to be called Model 3, will be available by 2017. The crossover SUV Model X goes on sale in 2015, but the Model 3 is positioned to be a direct competitor to the BMW [...]

Toyota Considering AWD Prius


Toyota officials have revealed that they plan to offer both lithium and nickel-metal-hydride batteries on future models, as well as all-wheel-drive capability for the world’s best-selling hybrid car. Those options would possibly be available by late 2015 or early 2016, according to reports. Apparently, the lithium battery version of Prius would cost more but allow [...]

Volvo Plug-in SUV Ready for 2015


Volvo Cars announced this week that its lineup for 2015 will include a plug-in hybrid version of the XC90 SUV, a 7-passenger redesign of the model that will feature a 400-horsepower output and a new family member, “T8.” The T6 gasoline version of the XC90 will be a 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter that comes in turbo- and [...]

Huge End-of-Year Discounts on Cadillac ELR


Dealerships that sell the electric Cadillac ELR are offering discounts that exceed $13,000 before state and federal tax incentives. Most of the price-cutting sellers are on the East Coast, and the major discounts began showing up in June. Combined with other incentives, it is now possible for buyers to acquire GM’s elite EV for about [...]

Nissan Leaf News: 2015 Specs, Tiny Price Increase


Nissan Motor officials announced this week that the 2015 Leaf’s price will rise slightly and that the new models will include some design changes inside and out. For starters, the color choice known as Glacier Blue is gone, replaced by Morning Sky Blue. The 2015 Leaf features a sticker price for the base model just [...]

Volkswagen Passat Plug-in for Europe


The Volkswagen Passat will be available in Europe as a plug-in hybrid, the company announced this week. For 2015, all Passat drivetrain choices will see a 20 percent fuel economy improvement compared to 2014 models, but the plug-in offering is historic for the German automaker. A gasoline engine and electric motor work together for a [...]

‘Mystery Car’ of the Decade: Plug-in Hyundai Sonata


The much talked about Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid will not debut in 2015, as many had speculated. At the recent announcement ceremony for the company’s 2015 Sonata lineup, executives noted that hybrid drive is still very much in play, but pointed out that a plug-in is not a subject they wish to discuss at the [...]

Audi Shocker: Plug-in Hybrids of All Models by 2020


Key officials for Audi revealed this week that the German vehicle manufacturer would offer hybrid versions of all its models by the end of the decade. This marks the first time in history that a major automaker has made hybrid vehicle development a top priority. Audi’s Ulrich Hackenberg, research and development chief, called the Sportback [...]

June: Big Month for Ford Fusion Energi


Final sales figures for June delivered a surprise in the hybrid plug-in segment, with Ford’s Fusion Energi outselling major competitors Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius plug-in. Ford reported that its flagship plug-in sold 1,939 units during June, marking the car’s best month ever. Video: FFEnergi’s Competitor View a detailed review of Ford Fusion Energi’s primary [...]

Revealed: Volkswagen XL1 Price


Volkswagen announced this week that its diesel-electric hybrid XL1 would be priced at $169,000. The diminutive 0.8-liter engine is a 2-cylinder turbo-diesel rated at 47 horsepower. A 5.5-kWh lithium pack is the power source for a companion electric motor that creates an additional 26 horsepower. European-cycle testing lists the car at 261-mpg, easily making it [...]

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