VOLVO CARS TAKES MAJOR STEP TOWARDS ITS ELECTRIFIED FUTURE

Volvo Cars has taken a significant step towards its electrification goals with the release of upgraded and newly-developed electrified powertrain options, to be made available across its entire model range going forward.
The company has upgraded its existing T8 and T6 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrains, while at the same time confirming that plug-in options will now be available on every model it produces.

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2018 HONDA CLARITY PLUG IN QUICK TAKES

The all-new 2018 Clarity Plug-in Hybrid completes Honda’s first-ever vehicle series that offers customers an array of electrified powertrain choices in one sophisticated, spacious and comprehensively equipped 5-passenger sedan. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid joins the Clarity Fuel Cell and Clarity Electric as the volume leader in the Clarity series, sold in all 50 states.
The Clarity series, led by the Clarity Plug-In, is at the forefront of Honda’s initiative to bring electrified vehicle technology into the mainstream as the company aims for electrified vehicles to make up two-thirds of its global automobile sales by 2030. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is manufactured in Honda’s Saitama factory in the Sayama prefecture, Japan.

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LEXUS ES 300h 2019 QUICK TAKES

After nearly thirty years of success, the seventh-generation Lexus ES is set to redefine its status among entry-level executive sedans. Long known for its unparalleled comfort, refinement and luxury appointments, the 2019 Lexus ES builds on its strengths with an all-new chassis that allows for a more dynamic exterior design and the introduction of the first ES F SPORT. The introduction of the new Lexus ES continues the brand’s commitment to crafting vehicles with heightened excitement, emotion and passion. Traditional buyers will find the new ES more spacious and quieter while a new generation of customers will be introduced to a sedan with sharpened performance, advanced active safety technology and a level of craftsmanship rarely found in this segment. A new, fourth-generation Hybrid Drive System is used in the ES 300h. In addition to delivering stronger performance and exemplary fuel economy, the latest Hybrid Drive System has been designed to help eliminate the rubber band feeling associated with some hybrid systems.
An all-new 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gas engine (A25A-FXS) running on the Atkinson cycle is coupled with a smaller, more power dense electric motor and an all-new hybrid transaxle. The preliminary internal results are a combined 215 total system horsepower and a manufacturer estimated 44 combined mpg. The new aluminum-intensive gas engine delivers exceptional efficiency by combining a high-speed combustion design with several variable systems designed to conserve energy. The result is an engine that has a nearly identical displacement to its predecessor, yet delivers approximately 20 additional horsepower and 12 additional pound feet of torque. High-speed combustion is a core element of the new engine’s ability to provide the most efficient use of energy. To achieve this, the cylinder bores have been narrowed slightly (3.54 in. to 3.44 in.) and the stroke lengthened (3.86 in. to 4.07) to create an optimal 1:1.2 bore-to-stroke ratio as well as reducing the distance the fuel must travel to reach the edges of the cylinder. The angle between the valves was also increased to create a more direct path for the incoming air while the intake valve seats use a laser cladding process that allows for a larger valve seat area, reduced seat face temperatures and a smoother transition from the intake port to the combustion chamber. The result is an optimized swirl pattern and the ability to run more ignition advance in lean conditions without approaching knock limits.The new transaxle is over an inch (1.2) shorter than its predecessor thanks to a new arrangement of the electric motors that places them in a multi-axle configuration instead of the previous coaxial setup. The traditional planetary gear set has been replaced by a parallel shaft gear and a multi-function gear that incorporates a power split planetary ring gear, parking gear and counter drive gear into one compact unit.

The nickel-metal hydride battery that powers the electric motor has been relocated from the trunk to underneath the back seat. This was made possible by a 4.7-inch reduction in the height of the battery and the adoption of a more compact cooling system. Moving the battery under the seat not only frees up trunk space, it also improves the front-to-rear weight distribution of the ES for better handling.

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2019 Nissan LEAF e+ First Look

2019 Nissan LEAF e+ First Look By Auto Critic Steve Hammes. The new 2019 Nissan LEAF e+ has a 62 kWh battery pack and an EPA-estimated range of up to 226 miles. Sales in the U.S. are expected to begin in spring 2019. While the regular LEAF will take you 150 miles on a full charge, this one tacks on another 75 miles thanks to a battery with 55% more capacity and a motor delivering 45% more power.  That translates into an increased 250 pound-feet of instantaneous torque adding more passing prowess at highway speeds while raising the top speed.  

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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2018 Review

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2018 Review By Auto Critic Steve Hammes Mitsubishi likely isn’t the first company that comes to mind when you think of electrified vehicles. But don’t forget; they pioneered an all-electric car long before they were fashionable.  And…

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