Tag Archives: Electric and Hybrids

Rimac Concept One at NYIAS

Rimac Concept One 1

The Rimac is the first electric hypercar. It’s proven to be a little quicker than a Porsche 918 in the 1/4 mile, and it has a good amount of hype surrounding it at this point.

This was the first Rimac I’ve seen in person, and it’s cool, but it doesn’t have the same sort of breathtaking detail as the new Bugatti Chiron or the Koenigsegg Agera.

I respect Rimac for what they’re doing. Electric supercars definitely need to carve out their place in the world, and the Concept One is leading the charge. That said, a supercar without an engine and gearshift is missing 90% of the drama that makes such a car so special. Fast only goes so far in my opinion, and that will always hold electric cars back for me.

-Nick Walker

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Are Electric Cars REALLY the Future for Driving Enthusiasts?

Watching the first episode of the new season of Top Gear, and Chris Harris made a comment about the Ferrari FXX K possibly being the last gasp of the combustion engine. It’s a comment we’ve heard before, and I’m sure it’s a comment many will continue to make. But I don’t buy it for a number of reasons.

Sure, I do think electric cars, specifically self-driven electric cars, are the future for mass independent transportation. I think so many people out there have so little interest in driving that they’re a danger to themselves and everyone around them when they get behind the wheel. Those folks should leave the driving to the machines, the world will be a much happier place.

But what about those of us who live to drive for recreation, just because driving is so much fun? Obviously you can totally forget the self-driving cars, but are electric cars even that desirable to us?

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Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach in Outrageous Orange!

Porsche 918 Weissach Orange 4

It’s amazing how much the right color can add to the impact a car has on the world around it. The Porsche 918 Spyder has a ton of presence to begin with, but in this molten orange it seems like it can stop time itself.

People were pouring over this thing in Scarsdale, especially little kids, who must have been totally transfixed . Even with all of the other insane machines around it, this Porsche had it’s own special sort of gravity.

In addition to it’s spectacular paint job, this 918 Spyder was also fitted with the coveted Weissach Package. That made it extra cool for me because it’s actually the first Weissach-equipped Porsche 918 I’ve laid eyes on in person.

Enjoy the gallery!

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Tesla Take 2 with the Model S P90D

Tesla Model S P90D 16

I got my first taste of the Tesla magic in 2015 when I drove a Model S P85D. It made one hell of a first impression, and I was totally blown away. I felt like I had just experienced the true next step for the automobile, capable of blistering acceleration, superior practicality and sublime comfort, all in a single package. Oh, and did I mention it was green, too? I was enamored with it then, but I was curious to see how the Tesla would fair the second time around, now that my initial fascination had worn off.

I was recently able to take a spin in the new, facelifted, Model S P90D. This drive was much better than the first one. It lasted much longer, the roads were much better, and I got to try out some of Tesla’s amazing new features (including Autopilot). I also gained more perspective on the Model S, what it is, and what it is not.

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My Drive in a BMW i8: A Concept Car for the Street

BMW i8 Review 4

I’ve been itching to get my hands on a BMW i8 ever since I first saw it, and the chance finally came. As a car blogger working to grow my following, it’s still a very special occasion when someone is willing to throw me the keys to a six-figure set of wheels. As you might expect, it’s awesome to get to live the dream, even if it’s only for a little bit.

The BMW i8 is a total show-stopper. More of a UFO than a car, people go crazy when they see it out on the street. Most of them won’t even know what it is, but they will know that it’s something very, very special.

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White Porsche 918 Spyder at the CF Charities Supercar Show

Porsche 918 Spyder CF Charities 1

We’ve seen a bunch of Porsche 918 Spyders around, but none have been in this striking white until now. It shows off the curves of the car quite nicely and definitely adds to the car’s jaw-dropping appeal.

The 918 Spyder remains my favorite of the hybrid hypercar trio. Now, having seen it in this white, my lust for it will be that much more excruciating.

-Nick

Porsche 918 Spyder CF Charities 2 Porsche 918 Spyder CF Charities 3

The Tesla Model 3 looks promising if promises are kept

 photo Tesla Model 3 Front.jpg

I was sold on the electric car the second I experienced 0-84mph in a Tesla Model S P85D. It’s not just brutal acceleration, it’s brutal acceleration you can actually use from any speed, available immediately. Even just squirting from 0-30mph off a city stop light is a total riot. It is the kind of enjoyment you can only have in an electric car. There is no engine, no gears, and no delay. Thrills come simply at a push of the button, or pedal, in this case.

I thought Elon Musk summed up Tesla’s path brilliantly. Prove electric can be fun with the Tesla Roadster, then prove them practical and desirable with the Model S and Model X. But now comes the make or break moment for Tesla Motors, a truly affordable, mass-production car, the Tesla Model 3. It must be practical, it must be dependable, and it must be quite desirable to out-compete fierce competition.

Only time will tell for dependability, an issue that Tesla has been working on. Any new car company should expect some bumps in the road, it’s how they deal with them that counts. This factor gets greatly amplified as you move into the mass-market realm.

What we did find out last night in the short part one of the Tesla Model 3 reveal is that the car will be quite desirable and quite practical… so long as Musk’s promises are kept.

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BMW i3 Review: Expectations are Everything

BMW i3 Electric Car Review 1

The BMW i3 is just a car in the same way that an iPhone is just a phone. It does the job, but it’s really about so much more than basic functionality. It is a techy gadget on wheels, and it’s as much a personal brand statement as it is a mode of transportation.

As a new age city car, a Toyota Prius C will do the exact same functional job as the BMW i3 for less than half the price. But you could say the same for any other BMW as well, compared to a normal car. BMWs are pure luxury items, just like an Apple products, so we need to look at the car in that way.

As a car reviewer, I have my experience driving the car for a few minutes, hours or days, and then I give the car back. Owners have to live with the car, day-in and day-out for extended time. Consequently, our two experiences can often wind up pretty different.

The BMW i3 is one such car. I had my experience driving it, and I developed my initial opinion based on that. But then I looked around online to see what actual customers were saying, and I found much more I needed to consider before rendering my verdict. I think a lot comes down to how you approach the BMW i3, and how you intend to use the car.

Here is my take from both my drive in the car as well as from further research I’ve done.

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Is the new 2017 Volvo V90 the Ultimate Daily Driver?

The new Volvo S90 sedan is very cool, but it’s a sedan. The car you see here is the 2017 Volvo V90, and it’s much cooler because the Viking god, Odin, decreed that true Volvos must be wagons.

I guess it’s sort of a brand image thing for me, but I always picture a proper Volvo as a wagon, even despite the fact that my mom had an S80 sedan for years. The S90 and V90 come as replacements for the S80, and they feature every ounce of Volvo’s newfound luxury swagger.

I drove the new Volvo XC90 last spring, and I was blown away, to say the least. Volvo came out of nowhere with what is probably the best luxury 7 seat SUV on the market. I mean, Volvos have always been nice solid cars, but they were hardly head-turners. Volvo has clearly decided to change that with their new generation of cars.

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Highlights from the 2016 Philadelphia Auto Show

Philly Auto Show 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

The Philadelphia Auto Show was lively this year, with many of the newest releases on display.

I must admit that I am completely in love with the blue Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio you see above (it’s stick too). I also got my first look at the new Fiata (124 Spider), Cadillac XT5, Honda Ridgeline, and the oh-so-sleek Volvo S90. I also got a good look at the new Toyota Prius, which was regrettable on the eyes.

There are a lot of great new cars to be excited about!

Enjoy the gallery.

-Nick

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Reaction: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

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$30,000 gets you 200 miles of electric driving. Well played, Chevy, well played.

It would seem the new Bolt EV is prepped to lead the way for the affordable AND viable electric car. The Nissan Leaf was a complete joke, people, this isn’t. Now let’s all hope there’s no “GM catch” to the Chevy Bolt down the line that will ruin it.

Likes: GM seems to have gotten the price and the range just right for what buyers have been yearning for in an electric car.

Dislikes: Marry Barra still seems to think it’s all about “beating Tesla”. Elon Musk wouldn’t have released Tesla’s patents to the whole industry if he didn’t want everyone to play his game. Her somewhat brawny attitude about beating Tesla makes me wonder if the mindset behind the Bolt is good GM or bad GM. Let’s hope they didn’t cut too many corners so they could be first to market in the $30K range, before the Tesla Model 3 hits.

-Nick Walker