2017 Toyota Prius Prime vs Chevrolet Volt – There is nothing nice looking about green vehicles on the market, with many of them even being described as being ugly. One of the latest vehicles to be tagged with the ugly stick is the Toyota Prius, but the Chevrolet Volt isn’t far behind. So which is the most attractive and which would you choose?
The Toyota Prius Prime may not take the title of being the best looking vehicle but it does take the crown for offering the best in fuel efficiency. The PHEV powertrain has been voted the cleanest to run so in this aspect it is highly attractive. However its looks have been letting it down when it comes to sales.
More article : New 2017 Toyota Prius Plug-In on Sale Now
Last month things changed though when the Toyota Prius Prime sold 1, 366 units and managed to take fourth place in the sales charts for green cars. It came in just behind the Tesla Model X and the Chevrolet Volt.
The Chevrolet Volt competes with the Toyota Prius Prime and the Volt sold 1, 611 units in January to the 1,366 of the Prime.
The Toyota Prius Prime could catch up with the sales of the Chevrolet Volt and it could overtake it. Of course it would all depend on which of the two people think is the least ugly looking.
2017 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Reviews – If you presumed it impossible right now for Porsche to build a 911 with four doors, four seats, lavish luxury, inspired sports car handling and scintillating performance via cutting edge technologies that runs on the sniff of an oily rag, you’d be correct. But the 2017 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, due to arrive in Oz in Q3 this year, takes a big lunge towards daylight at the exit point to a noble, if seemingly improbable, split-personality pipe dream.
The 2017 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is a Porsche designed primarily to appeal not to the chest-thumping, tarmac-tearing road warrior that lurks within most of us, but to your inner accountant, to whose presence we may less readily admit. The ‘4’ in the name denotes the number of driven wheels, while the ‘E’ means it can be plugged into your electricity supply.
We have, of course, been here before. The old Panamera was available not only as a hybrid but also as an e-hybrid and, contrary to instincts that asked why people didn’t just buy the cheaper, better diesel version instead, it actually sold reasonably well, accounting for 20% of British Panamera sales.
Applying the same logic, this one will do far better than that. It is, of course, quicker thanks to its brand new electrically boosted, Porsche-designed twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6, which provides 456bhp and a 516lb ft wall of torque at just 1100rpm. It knocks the 0-62mph time back from a brisk 5.5sec to a distinctly rapid 4.6sec. And yet, if official fuel economy figures are to be believed (which they most certainly are not), it will do more than 95mpg.
The 2017 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid will now cover 30 miles on electrical energy alone, versus the previous model’s 22, and it will do 87mph before feeling the need to summon up a little internal combustion assistance. The old car would do just 84mph. For that, thank 134bhp of pure electrical power under your foot, instead of just 95bhp.
So it’s better in almost every measurable way and, being a brand new car, I should think so too. Less easily predictable is the fall in price from £88,967 for the old Panamera E-Hybrid to £79,715 for the new. That makes it almost £9000 cheaper than the 22bhp less powerful Panamera 4S.
In electric-only mode, the E-Hybrid is absolutely lovely. Many owners will be able to commute in absolute, untroubled silence and, rightly, that will make this car very tempting. The problem comes when the internal combustion engine chimes in. Brand new and Porsche designed though it is, silken it is not, and its rather gruff voice strikes a stark contrast to the unsullied quiet offered when powered by electricity. It’s an engine that makes you want to upshift early and downshift late. Which, for any Porsche, is a shame.
Also, the E-Hybrid handles well, but only to a point. It clings on grimly enough in fast, steady-speed corners, but the steering lacks feel and when the grip does start to go, the car is not hugely responsive to remedial action. Blame a kerb weight fully 100kg greater than that of a long-wheelbase Mercedes-AMG S63 for that and, wait for it, 320kg more than that of a standard Panamera 4.
In truth, this Porsche is a cruiser, never better than when letting its standard air springs do their silken thing, as you sit in that sumptuous cabin, goggling at the ultra-high-definition graphics of the intrument and infotainment screens, as the world rushes silently by. In this preferred environment, it really is extraordinarily good, although it would be remiss of us not to lament the fact that the harder you drive it, the further from its comfort zone it becomes.
This is a difficult question to answer, and for two distinct reasons. First and perhaps more prosaically, the car that would be most illuminating by way of comparison does not yet exist. The V6 diesel version of the previous Panamera was by far the best selling but, in these days of top-down launches, it seems Porsche is in no hurry to replace it. The engine will come towards the end of the year, but until we see how it stacks up against the E-Hybrid, all the information many will require before making such a decision will not be available.
The other reason is because it depends so much on how the owner/driver intends to use it. This is not a car you can judge by traditional Porsche terms. Instead, it lives within a family of the most quiet and comfortable Porsches there has been, a car closer in execution to a pure luxury car. The E-Hybrid’s particular pitch is partly to provide its owner with a cloak of environmental responsibility but mainly to benefit his or her wallet. On face value alone, it’s a wildly better yet considerably cheaper car than the previous Panamera E-Hybrid. And once you’ve crunched all the numbers, worked out benefit-in-kind, what can be offset and the charges from which it exempts you, you may well conclude that for a person in your specific circumstances, such is the value it offers that no other could be considered. You might quickly conclude that, in such context, its dynamic limitations are really neither here nor there.
Ultimately, then, this is a Porsche to be chosen by head over heart. If that suits your precise purposes, proceed with our blessing. If not, hang around just a while until the range has fleshed out a bit further. We don’t know for sure, but when all the models have been released, it is hard indeed to imagine anyone save the aforementioned accountant considering this to be the best of the bunch.
Modernised design inside and out a great step forward; new-generation hybrid application a compelling blend of performance and efficiency; an enticing price point if you’re already shopping within the Panamera range.
Heavy weight hampers the 4 E-Hybrid’s sporting and performance potential; form over function design inhibits the new Panamera’s outright practicality; the braking system lets the team down in the driving experience
Price £79,715; Engine V6, 2894cc, twin-turbo, petrol, plus electric motor; Power 456bhp at 5250rpm; Torque 516lb ft at 1100rpm; 0-62mph 4.6sec; Top speed 173mph; Gearbox 8-spd dual-clutch automatic; Kerb weight 2170kg; Economy 88.5mpg (combined); CO2 56g/km, 11%; Rivals: BMW 640d M Sport Gran Coupe, Tesla Model S 75D
Meet the new 2017 Jaguar F-type, scrubbed and spruced up with a delicately updated wardrobe, new LED lights and lightweight seats, plus a new selfie video mode for those who like to film themselves having fun.
It’s all part of what Jaguar calls the 2018 model year roadster and coupe, freshly unveiled to coincide with the Detroit motor show, despite JLR having no presence in Motown. Sneaky!
Believe it or not, it’s been four years since Jag launched its Boxster-baiting sports car, so the design team has been busy massaging the 2017 Jaguar F-type’s couture to keep it fresh.
Not that there’s much to improve on the slinkiest of Jaguars. Little has changed and the most visible telltale is the full LED headlamps, minutely tweaked rear light graphic and remoulded front bumpers.
Inside you’ll spot the vastly improved Touch Pro infotainment system, which replaces the hideously outdated old sat-nav touchscreen with a faster-acting, cleaner-designed interface and 10GB media storage. Three cheers all round.
Those 2017 Jaguar F-type new slimline front seats save 8kg from the kerbweight, thanks to a magnesium alloy frame; usefully, they also allow 50mm more rear adjustment to help accommodate taller drivers.
In a selfie-obsessed world, it was only a matter of time before car makers cashed in. Working with mobile video specialists GoPro, Jaguar has launched the ReRun app which lets users record up to 10 minutes of footage onboard, overlaid with real-time performance data.
Perfect for capturing hot laps at a track day, a run down your favourite road or – more sinisterly – maybe a road rage attack unfolding before your eyes.
The app overlays road speed, throttle position, gear selected, brake force and g-force; naturally, social media sharing functionality is baked in, for maximum bragging rights.
It’s a shame the third-party camera has to be bolted on to the bonnet, however; this is not an integrated system like on the new Citroen C3.
You won’t have to wait long for the facelifted F-type to arrive in UK dealerships; sales kick off in the first quarter of 2017, priced from £51,450 for a 335bhp manual RWD model.
Apeing Porsche, Jag has focused on stretching the F-type range into all kinds of niches – to broaden its appeal. There are now 22 different F-type derivatives in hard-top coupe and convertible roadster forms, stretching all the way up to the £110,000 SVR model with a fulsome 567bhp.
One new addition is the 400 Sport launch edition, to be sold for one year only. It gets 20 horsepower more, with a 400ps (call it a round imperial 395bhp) version of the supercharged 3.0 V6, 20in alloys and uprated chassis to justify the flashy badge.
2017 Audi R8 Spyder Reviews & Specs – Just in time for summer, Audi is launching a convertible version of its 2017 Audi R8 Coupe supercar, the R8 Spyder, which makes its debut at the New York auto show. This dramatically proportioned roadster is the next addition to the growing lineup of second-generation R8 models, and, like the new R8 coupe, the Spyder features the same height and wheelbase as its predecessor, but it is both wider and shorter.
The new 2017 Audi R8 Spyder comes to market with the fabulous, naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10, rated at 540 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. The high-revving engine can play the entire range from a dark growl to a piercing howl, and its soundtrack is no empty promise: From a standstill, 62 mph comes up in 3.6 seconds, according to Audi, and top speed is ungoverned at 198 mph. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic channels the power to all four wheels—most of the time.
The Quattro all-wheel-drive system can send as much as 100 percent to the front or the rear axle, although the default setup is strongly rear-biased. There is a GKN-supplied, water-cooled front differential and a limited-slip differential in the rear.
At a claimed 3554 pounds dry, the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder is reasonably svelte by modern standards; 80 percent of its spaceframe is made from aluminum, and the folding top weighs less than 100 pounds. The standard tires are 245/35R-19 front and 295/35R-19 in the back, with 245/30R-20 front and 305/30R-20 rear rubber optional. The electrically assisted rack-and-pinion steering comes from ZF. Adaptive, magnetorheological dampers for the suspension are optional.
The 2017 Audi R8 Spyder’s top can be raised or lowered at speeds up to 31 mph. Even with the roof up, the driver and passenger have another option to capture the V-10’s aggressive soundtrack: Simply lowering the rear window, a trick that can be performed independently of the roof’s position.
Like the Audi R8 Coupe, the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder comes with Audi’s “Virtual Cockpit,” a digital gauge cluster that launched in the TT, but here is fitted in a far more upscale environment. The switches and controls are funky and angular, and we like the materials, which range from classic to futuristic. The optional Bang & Olufsen stereo features 13 speakers, including two in each seat’s headrest. The cabin is far roomier than it would seem from the outside, and the front trunk can actually hold enough luggage for a weekend getaway.
As an everyday supercar, it excels. It is extremely proficient, refined and disciplined. It is also, as a result, terrifically safe and somewhat aloof. Consequently, those looking for heart-trembling excitement may find it lacking.
This new drop-top version, however, reinstates some of the thrill required to get the blood flowing. The fixed-roof cocoon of safety is gone, and you are more exposed – both to the elements, which can be joyous itself, and the car.
Primarily, you’re infinitely more aware of the machinations of that fine naturally aspirated powertrain; the murmur of the valvetrain and whirr of the ancillaries, the piercing exhaust note, the sharp, guttural induction roar prompted every time the throttle blades shift a degree – the additional volume serves to further connect, involve and animate.
Then there’s the slick, elegant roof mechanism, and those meaner, leaner looks.
The new 2017 Audi R8 Spyder is not without its foibles. It’s predictably less stiff than the Coupe; mount a kerb to provoke a little twist and you’ll hear myriad trims shudder and scuffle. Can you feel this in the corners? Fractionally, but you’ll be too busy revelling in the experience – even at sensible speeds – to care.
Visually, the open-top treatment works well with the new R8’s dramatic proportions, but how well its blocky front end ages remains to be seen. In any event, this supercar won’t be confused with anything normal and pedestrian. Look for it at dealers this summer, at a considerable (although as-yet-undisclosed) premium over the $165,450 R8 coupe.
2017 Audi R8 Coupe V10 Plus Reviews & Specs – Audi’s luscious R8 is beautiful to behold, easy to live with, and simply marvelous to drive—everything you’d want in a sports car. The base engine is a 5.2-liter 540-hp V-10; the V10 Plus makes 610 hp. All-wheel drive is standard, as is a seven-speed automatic. The handsome interior features a 12.3-inch configurable display in lieu of traditional gauges; there is also 4G LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi hotspot capability. Only a coupe is offered for now; expect the Spyder version in spring 2017.
The 2017 Audi R8 Coupe V10 Plus supercar – and did a similar job that the NSX did for Honda two decades ago. It’s a brilliant sports car, available in V8 and V10 form, as an R8 coupé and an R8 roadster. For more information on the Audi R8, click on our further stories on the links below.
Audi blew us away when it launched its first supercar in 2007. Who would have guessed that boring old Ingolstadt, with its expertise in front- and four-wheel drive saloons and estates, would go on to build a stonking supercar that could take the fight to the 911 and junior Aston Martins and Lambos? But they did, and some. Arriving first was the 4.2 V8, mounted amidships under those evocative aluminium side blades and driving all four wheels. Yet the R8 never felt 4wd, with a nimble playfulness that belied its Quattro traction.
Best of all was a wonderful exposed alloy gearlever, click-clacking around the gate for all the world like it’s a junior Ferrari. Which in many regards, it is. Audi went on to launch a robotised manual ‘box, but we’ve always preferred the stick shift. Ditto with the engines, for the rampant Sant’Agata-sourced V10 was certainly ballistic, but we somehow always kept a soft spot for the V8, which is just more raggable, more of the time. If there is a chink in the 2017 Audi R8 Coupe V10 Plus armour, it’s the cabin.
The interior of this supercar simply isn’t up to scratch at this level, feeling like an A8 of a dozen years ago. Some of the infotainment and heating controls just don’t gel. But frankly we’ll forgive such foibles for such a wonderfully styled and engineered fun machine.
‘Everyday supercar.’ A contradiction in terms, surely? Like diesel hot hatch or, ahem, our sister title Practical Classics. But if any car fits the supercar for every occasion brief, it’s the Audi R8; all-wheel drive for all weathers, windows you can see out of, and the plushest of cabins with seats an inviting crossbreed between racing buckets and overstuffed armchairs.
It even has a decent turning circle. If the R8 truly can be an everyday supercar, we’ll soon know, for this one really is going to be driven every day.
Perhaps concerned about the imminent withdrawal symptoms I’ll suffer when my season running the Radical SR1 comes to an end, the editor has compassionately placed the R8 under my care for its time with us. But it’ll spend many of its days based here at CAR HQ, so keeping its keys to myself is an unlikely dream.
There’s no longer such thing as a V8-engined R8, the latest generation driven solely by the same wondrous naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 as the closely related Lamborghini Huracan, with either 533bhp as standard or 602bhp in ‘V10 Plus’ trim. Our R8 is the latter, £15k more than the standard model with carbon-ceramic brakes, fixed rear wing and a 40kg weight reduction to go with its extra 69bhp.
Since the standard V10 Plus Sport suspension is better suited to smooth European tarmac than Blighty’s blemishes, we’ve added variable Magnetic Ride dampers (£1600) and swapped the uncompromising buckets usually fitted to Plus models for regular sports seats, with pneumatic bolsters (£475).
We have splashed out on the sport exhaust (£1800), the better to appreciate that V10 to full effect, a larger 73-litre fuel tank (£100), and the £650 Driver Assistance Pack (cruise control and reversing camera – both, stingily, not standard), along with £3k’s worth of laser headlights (complete with a moderately concerning radiation warning sticker inside the boot).
We’ve deliberately avoided the feedback-blunting variable-rate Dynamic Steering option, and I rather wish we hadn’t specced Vegas Yellow paint (although R8 orders suggest many customers disagree). Together with a few other garnishes, that adds up to £149,645 – still cheaper than a Huracan.
If the 10-year-old me knew I’d one day be able to drive a bright yellow V10 supercar nearly every day I’d probably have spontaneously combusted with excitement. Can the R8 live up to a lifetime’s anticipation? So far I’m undecided. When we ran a Lamborghini Huracan on the long-term fleet for six glorious months last year I fell completely under its spell, yet on first impressions I’m struggling to feel quite so passionate about the R8. Which is silly, because they’re essentially the same car, and if anything the R8’s set-up gives it more involving handling.
But I’m not convinced by the styling – there’s something oddly unbalanced about the thickening shoulder line dividing the side intakes, and I can’t get the notion out of my head that it looks like a supercar on its way to a fancy dress party wearing an Audi TT costume. More fundamental than that though, there’s something a little aloof about its character; it feels almost too polished, somehow, not raw enough to be truly exciting. Does that mean I’m shallow and easily swayed by looks and charisma? Probably.
It’s early days, though. The R8’s arrived with only 112 miles on the clock, so self-imposed running-in reins are bridled to the V10, and the lengthiest journeys I’ve been able to take on so far have been traffic-jam-riddled motorway slogs. More thorough driving observations another time, then, but the R8 is clearly a multi-stringed bow.
Its ride comfort would shame many saloon cars (although it has an oddly springy gait at times in Comfort mode, like the subtly bouncy feel of a trampoline beneath your feet), for starters, and the seats likewise. There’s no trace of the symptoms of a condition every Monte Carlo-based chiropractor must be familiar with called ‘Lamborghini back.’ The V10 sounds serene on the move, although the theatrical, window-rattling burst of revs that accompanies every early morning cold start isn’t always appreciated by my housemates.
So, to recap the hypothesis: an R8 V10 can function as day-to-day transport. But if so, can it still thrill enough to be considered a supercar in its truest sense? We’ve got the next few months to valiantly endeavour to prove and/or disprove both points. It’s going to be fun finding out.
There are things we’ll miss about that first R8: The six-speed manual and its aluminum gated shifter. The sub-$120,000 base price for the V-8 model. The imposing beauty of its timeless design. The original R8 earned its place in automotive history, but this second-generation car is nearly as important as a marker in the evolution of the species. Its naturally aspirated V-10 becomes even more rare and more special the longer it hangs around.