For more info - 843-222-41ZERO2
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States
For more info - 843-222-41ZERO2
Electric cars and hybrids are here to stay, much to the apparent dismay of some auto enthusiasts, but that doesn't mean they have to represent the death of enjoyable driving. Granted, the initial run of hybrids in the US like the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius weren't exactly tailor-made for aggressive folks behind the wheel, but things are clearly changing. In its latest video, Evo takes a look at three examples from Europe's new crop of electrified vehicles to show that the future of fun motoring is safe and sound.
Evo editor Henry Catchpole kicks things off with one of the most bizarre EVs of the bunch, the tiny Renault Twizy. Its low power and 50-mile-per-hour top speed might make it miles away from a hot hatch, but there's still fun to be had in extracting the most from this little city car. Next up is the Audi A3 E-Tron, which isn't technically available yet. It's a step in the right direction of eventually creating an affordable, fun-to-drive hybrid hot hatch.
However, the main event is Catchpole getting some seat time in the BMW i8. The Bimmer can really fly -literally in this case - and the butterfly-door coupe offers a clear look at the prospects for electrified sports cars. It might not have the power of hybrid supercar contemporaries like the LaFerrari or Porsche 918 Spyder, but the BMW doesn't cost nearly as much, either. See? Improved efficiency doesn't have to mean boring.
You can't debate Audi's record in endurance racing. With 12 victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it comes second only to Porsche in the history books of the famous endurance race - only in Audi's case, all of those victories have come in the last 14 years, losing only twice: once to its partner team Bentley in 2003 and once to rival Peugeot in 2009. It's won the FIA World Endurance Championship in both of the seasons it's run so far, and has won championships in the European and American Le Mans Series, too.
That's quite a record to defend, and defend it Audi will with an evolved LMP1 racer next year. Only a week after tying up its second consecutive world championship, the German outfit is already back at Sebring this weekend testing the successor to the all-conquering R18 e-tron Quattro. Unfortunately as the new United SportsCar Championship doesn't include LMP1s, the only chance we may have to see it competing here in the United States will be at the 6 Hours of the Circuit of the Americas in September.
Audi is keeping mum on the details for the time being, releasing only this one photo and promising to reveal further details before the end of the month, but we can already discern a more streamlined shape, revised aero and reprofiled headlamps among the changes from the outgoing R18. One way or another, with Toyota upping its game and Porsche returning to top-level competition next season, Audi may be in for its toughest challenge yet - but you can bet it won't take it lying down. Scope out the press release below and watch this space for more.
According to research conducted by global information company IHS Automotive, the leporine birthing of new models by luxury manufacturers over the past six years hasn't increased their market share in the US. Even as car sales reached 15.6 million units, IHS says what's happened instead is that luxury buyers are merely moving from one brand to another, moving from larger luxury vehicles into hot segments like compact luxury crossovers or leaving the market at the same rate as other buyers enter.
Whether broken out by makes or by segment, market share has rollercoastered inside a narrow band from 10.5 to 11.5 percent since "at least" 2008. Closer investigation reveals the shifting boundaries in the aspirational pond, with brands like Mercedes-Benz and Audi gaining territory as Lexus and Lincoln lost it, and Saab and Hummer were buried, dead, under it. One neat note is that Tesla has gone from a share of zip to .12 percent.
The subcompact and compact crossover segments show growth, with those little high-riders jumping from .3 percent to 1.16 percent of overall industry sales. Their rise, though, is concomitant with the decline of four other segments: compact and midsize cars and fullsize cars and SUVs. We think the next few years that will tell if the small-car expansion can overcome the large-car retraction, with a phalanx of smaller offerings like the CLA only recently hitting the market and others like the GLA, Macan and Q1 doing so in the near future.