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Archive for the ‘minivans’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes Previews Future City Driving with Vision URBANETIC Concept

Auto show season is creeping up, and that means the concepts are starting to roll on out. One of the first out the gates is this new all-electric, fully autonomous, highly customizable transportation bubble from Mercedes-Benz Vans, which offers highly intelligent conveyance for not only people, but goods and cargo as well.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes Vision Urbanetic Concept.

PostHeaderIcon The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Goes Aggressive with a new S Appearance Package

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is getting a shot of personality courtesy of the new S Appearance Package that costs just $595. The new package adds plenty of new elements, giving the van a more aggressive appearance that should do the trick in shedding the physical stereotypes normally associated with minivans. The option will be made available in the fall when 2019 models go on sale.

PostHeaderIcon Vauxhall Executes Zafira and Astra

The Crossover fever has spread all across the world, and it’s not just the sedans that are facing the brunt. According to Autocar, the Zafira Tourer and Astra GTC are the latest cars to get phased out. Although they are being discontinued in the U.K for now, we are sure it will be eliminated completely very soon.

PostHeaderIcon Chrysler isn’t on the Chopping Block Yet; Fiat to Retreat, Become Euro-Only EV Brand

FCA’s investor meeting has taken place, and the official word is that Chrysler will carry on as a North-American.-only brand and Fiat will become a Euro-only EV brand. To take things even further, a company spokesperson has also said that Dodge won’t be killed off either. That’s a pretty bold move from FCA considering how unpopular Chrysler and Fiat have become here. What happens with these brands next, however, will determine whether or not they’ll continue to stick around long term.

PostHeaderIcon Renault EZ-GO

Renault has been big on the whole EV self-driver thing for the past few years now, pulling the sheets on several SYMBIOZ concepts back in 2017. The EZ-GO is the latest follow-up, offering the same drivetrain and autonomous tech as before, but with an extra dash of shared mobility services and connected features to boot. The result is a vision of the future of urban mobility, promising improvements to both energy efficiency and quality of life.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault EZ-GO.

PostHeaderIcon Teen Dies After Being Pinned by the Third Row Seat of a 2004 Honda Odyssey

A 16-year-old boy in Cincinnati, Ohio died after getting pinned behind the third-row seat of a 2004 Honda Odyssey. The young man, identified as Kyle Plush, died of asphyxia due to chest compression, even after calling 911 not once but twice. The death has been ruled accidental, but there are still plenty of questions that need to be answered behind the circumstances of his death, particularly the way responders handled his calls for help.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Brings Nothing New to the Odyssey for 2019 Except Higher Pricing

The 2019 Honda Odyssey is now available, and it carries over from that year with next-to-nothing in the way of upgrades. The minivan looks the same, the engines remain the same, and the usual features remain the same. The new Odyssey does come with price hikes across its entire trim, ranging from $150 to $1,000, so that’s something that qualifies as a “change.”

PostHeaderIcon Kia’s Updated Sedona is Pretty Much About Revised Options and a New Transmission

The Kia Sedona is a decent minivan – there’s no doubt about that. But, Kia’s idea of updating the Sedona is nothing short of laughable. First, Kia did update the front fascia to be more in line with its current lineup, but outside of that, the only good thing that comes outside aside from new wheels are redesigned exterior lights. If you want LED headlamps you need to pony up for the higher trim levels while you have to jump up to the EX if you want the new power sliding door button. Outside of a new instrument cluster inside, the interior only sees updates on the options list while under the metal there’s a new transmission that’s supposed to be more efficient.

PostHeaderIcon Another Self-Driving Car? Meet the Icona Nucleus

Italian Design House Icona, the maker of show cars like the Fuselage, Vulcano, Neo, and the one-off Icona Vulcano Titanium, will make their first Geneva appearance with the Icona Nucleus – another self-driving car without a steering wheel and the desire to make trips from A to B relaxing. Unlike some of the recent concepts we’ve seen, this thing has level 5 autonomy (yeah, right!) and features a first-class-like cabin. As futuristic as they get, it also doesn’t have side glass, but instead a semi-transparent body panel that will allow you to see outside the vehicle while maintaining complete privacy.

The interior is lush and comfortable and can accommodate six people. Icona says the seats can be moved on demand and can even become a large couch. There are also electrical connections and even a table that will allow passengers to work in route, should they not be able to get away from work for a few minutes.
There is no dash or steering wheel, which really isn’t that surprising.

All told, the only realistic thing about this concept is its overall size.
It measures 5.25 meters (17.22 feet) in length, 2.12 meters (6.95 feet) wide, and 1.75 meters (5.74 feet) high. Oddly, it rides on 26-inch wheels while the crazy windscreen, wheel arch blades and underbody diffuser contribute to a CoD of just 0.25. While some of this sounds great and all, this thing is about 20 years or so ahead of its time. We would, however, like to take a seat inside the cabin. It looks quite comfy don’t you think?

References


2016 Icona Vulcano Titanium - image 640583

Read our full review on the 2016 Icona Vulcano Titanium.


HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience - image 749046

Read more technology news.


CES 2018 Weirdness: Nissan's Brain-to-Car Communication - image 755579

Read more autonomous cars news.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Mercedes-Benz has debuted its third-generation Sprinter van in Duisburg, Germany, appropriately at a portside warehouse. This marks the first all-new Sprinter since 2006 and represents a huge leap forward for the utility vehicle. The van sports a new exterior design, a classy interior with touches from the E-Class, and Mercedes’ new MBUX infotainment system that recently debuted at the 2018 Consumer Electronics show. What’s more, the Sprinter is going electric with the eSprinter variant. Preliminary specs say it uses a 41.4 kWh battery pack with a range of roughly 100 miles.

The Sprinter has enjoyed a very successful run since its introduction in 1995. The van is currently sold in 130 markets and has a lifetime sales figure exceeding 3.4 million. Just last year, Mercedes sold 200,500 Sprinters globally. The new 2019 model replaces the aging second-generation Sprinter, which has been around since 2006. Unfortunately for the U.S., the new Sprinter won’t arrive until late 2019, likely making it a 2020 model.

Continue reading for more information.


Exterior

– * New design

– * Upscale appearance

– * Double sliding doors on cargo models

– * Large barndoor-style rear doors


2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - image 765620
“The new 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has a new face, along with several updated details”

The new 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has a new face, along with several updated details. The new front end has a taller, more distinguished face. The bumper extends nearly halfway up the grille and the new headlights are more compact and carlike. Lower trim levels have a black plastic bumper, while upper models have a body-colored bumper. Upper trims also get swanky LED headlights with LED daytime running lights shaped after Mercedes’ typical “eyebrow” design. Fog lights are an option, too.

Thanks to the taller grille and more upright bumper, the hood is actually flatter than before. The new look is likely to help with crashworthiness. Nevertheless, the driver will have an unobstructed view forward through the massive windshield.


2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - image 765632
“Around back, the rear doors are now very minimalists due to that missing character line from before”

Things don’t change much around the Sprinter’s sides. That’s actually by design, though. Mercedes wanted to keep the dimensions and overall shape the same so aftermarket upfit companies will need very little modifications to their equipment. Examples include wall-mounted shelving, dividers for the cab and cargo space, and other clever storage options. The stylized character line found on the outgoing Sprinter is gone, however. The van’s new sides look cleaner and less cluttered than before.

Around back, the rear doors are now very minimalists due to that missing character line from before. The Mercedes logo has also been moved; it’s now located below the windows rather than incorporated into them. New, more stylized taillights are more upscale than the segmented and blocky taillights on the outgoing model.

Interior

– * Upscale interior with E-Class cues

– * New MBUX infotainment system

– * Available wireless phone charging

– * Available 360-degree camera system

– * Up to 600 cubic feet of cargo space

– * Hauls up to 12,125 pounds of cargo


2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - image 765653
“While improved, the outside’s changes pale in comparison to the 2019 Sprinter’s new interior”

While improved, the outside’s changes pale in comparison to the 2019 Sprinter’s new interior. The new dash takes after the E-Class by using several of the same switches and controls, along with the turbine-style air vents. Even the power seat adjustment buttons look pulled from a premium luxury sedan – and even the passenger side gets memory settings on upper trims.

Aside from looking nice, the new van also includes some cutting edge technology. The optional infotainment system is the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX, infotainment system. It has voice recognition like many modern smart devices. Simply say “Hey Mercedes” or just “Mercedes,” and the infotainment system will begin listening for commands. The 10.25-inch HD screen includes 3D mapping that’s aided by an Nvidia graphics chip.

The system also receives updates automatically and over the air. A 360-degree camera system can be had, too, making the large van much easier to drive in tight spots. Other optional safety equipment includes Blind Spot Assist, pedestrian detection, and Mercedes’ Crosswind Assist. Autonomous safety tech includes adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.


2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - image 765650
“The 10.25-inch HD screen includes 3D mapping that’s aided by an Nvidia graphics chip.”

The driver gets to view a rather large, full-color information screen in the gauge cluster. it offers trip computer information, vehicle parameters, audio info, and turn-by-turn directions from the navigation system. Of course, the screen can be configured by the driver.

The steering wheel is also very “E-Classy” it features touch-sensitive controls that operate the driver information screen, along with other buttons that control the audio, phone connectivity, and cruise control. Push-button starting is standard.

Lower trims make use of a less glamours radio head. It only has a small LCD screen with radio information and a clock. Interestingly, Sprinters equipped with the manual transmission have the shifter placed on the center console in what is otherwise a storage compartment. It’s not too dissimilar from the outgoing Sprinter’s design.

In the business end of things, the Sprinter remains very similar to the outgoing model. As mentioned, that’s a great thing for aftermarket upfitter companies that sell custom-fit shelving and other equipment for the Sprinter. Cargo models offer dual sliding doors for nearly limitless access. Both sliding doors and the rear access are wide enough for a standard shipping pallet. The Sprinter has a maximum cargo volume of 17 cubic meters, or 600 cubic feet and will carry 5.5 metric tons, or 12,125 pounds. That’s impressive.


2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - image 765647
“When it comes to hauling people rather than cargo, the Sprinter can be optioned with up to 18 seats in the rear, making for a total of 20 occupants.”

When it comes to hauling people rather than cargo, the Sprinter can be optioned with up to 18 seats in the rear, making for a total of 20 occupants.

More amazingly, the Sprinter is offered in more than 1,700 variants with different cab, body lengths, drivetrain options, payload capacities, roof heights, trim, and other options.

Powertrain

– * U.S.-spec Sprinter now offer four-cylinder gasoline engine

– * Four- & six-cylinder turbodiesel options

– * New eSprinter with 41.4 kWh battery & 100-mile range


2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - image 765639
“The big powertrain news is the new eSprinter version.”

Mercedes was pretty quiet on powertrain details at the launch. We do know both four- and six-cylinder turbodiesel options will be prevalent. Here in the U.S., the Sprinter will debut with a four-cylinder gasoline engine – a first for the U.S.-spec Sprinter. Those turbodiesel engine options will follow. Both automatic and manual transmission options will be available, too. Mercedes will also continue to sell the 4×4 version with its 4WD powertrain, lifted suspension, and off-road tires. The bulk of U.S. Sprinters will have rear-wheel drive.

The big powertrain news is the new eSprinter version. The van will use a 41.4 kWh battery pack that offers a range of roughly 100 miles. Mercedes says those figures are subject to change as the van is still in development. This isn’t Mercedes’ first all-electric van, though. The compact Vito van got an eVito version back in November of 2017. Mercedes is still taking orders for the eVito and will begin shipping them later this year. The eSprinter is expected several months after the standard 2019 Sprinter makes its European debut in showrooms.

Pricing


2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - image 765623

As with most new vehicle debuts, Mercedes did not discuss prices. However, Robert Veit, managing director for Mercedes-Benz USA, spoke with Trucks.com and said the new model will actually have a sharp decrease in pricing thanks to the newly available gasoline engine. According to Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for the AutoPacific consulting firm, told Truck.com that prices could drop by $3,000 to $4,000.

Aside from the decreased cost of manufacturing for a gasoline engine, the decrease in price will help the Mercedes better compete with the Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster. Both the Ford and Ram are priced below the current Sprinter’s base MSRP of around $34,000.

The Competition

Ford Transit


Ford Transit Connect Gets Diesel Engine in Chicago - image 766081

The Ford Transit might be relatively new to U.S. shores, but Ford has sold the van globally for decades. Replacing the outdated Econoline van in 2014. Like other “Euro van” configurations, the Transit has a cab-forward design that allows for a short nose. This both allows for maximum use of the wheelbase for cargo room, but also makes for a high, commanding view of the road for the driver.

Here in the U.S., the Transit comes with three engine options. The base is Ford’s 3.7-liter V-6. The humble engine makes 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Those fond of gasoline but want something more powerful will like the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. That engine kicks out 310 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Diesel fans will like the 3.2-liter inline-five turbodiesel. It makes 185 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Regardless of engine, every Transit comes with a six-speed automatic transmission that powers the rear wheels.

Prices for the 2018 Ford Transits start at $32,285. Three wheelbases, three roof heights, three trim levels, and the choice between the cargo and passenger model make the Transit incredibly customizable. Not to mention, Ford offers a cut-away version, too.

Read more about the 2018 Ford Transit.

Ram ProMaster


2015 Ram ProMaster City - image 557867

Like the Mercedes and Ford, the Ram ProMaster is a globally available “Euro van” that offers maximum cargo space with a low load floor and a cab-over design. However, the Ram ProMaster name is an American thing. Before FCA was formed, the van was the Fiat Ducato. It still uses that name outside the U.S., though all but the badge is basically the same. Like the others, the ProMaster is available in a nearly limitless number of sizes and configurations.

Powering the U.S.-spec ProMaster is the familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6. In this application, it makes 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 was available until the EPA’s lawsuit with FCA over diesel emissions, however, it seems the EcoDiesel’s future is still bright.

Prices for the 2018 Ram ProMaster start at $29,995 for the cargo version and $34,345 for the passenger model.

Read more about the 2018 Ram ProMaster.

Conclusion


2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - image 765616

The new 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is a huge leap forward for Mercedes commercial vehicle division. The updates and innovative in-dash technology aren’t only new for the commercial van segment, but break ground for the entire auto industry. Count on seeing much more of the Mercedes MBUX system over the coming years, for sure.

While U.S. customers will have to wait until late 2019 for the updated van, the wait seems worthwhile. That’s especially true for the new eSprinter electric version. It marks the first full-size commercial van to make the leap to an electric drivetrain. Sadly, that model will require an even longer wait.

On a related note, we’re expected to see these changes reach the Freightliner Sprinter in the near future, too. Freightliner in under the Daimler umbrella and sells its rebadged version of the Sprinter van in the U.S.

  • Leave it
    • * Won’t arrive stateside until late 2019
    • * Base four-cylidner gasser probably weak

References


2015 Mercedes Sprinter - image 625763

Read our full review on the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.


maker logos - image 743625

Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Transit Connect Gets Diesel Engine in Chicago

Ford’s smallest van, the Transit Connect, has just received a facelift at the 2018 Chicago Motor Show. Exterior updates are mild and interior upgrades are mostly about new tech and options, but there’s big news under the skin, in the form of a brand-new diesel engine.

The outer shell of the van remained largely unchanged on the sides and around back, but the front fascia now sports the company’s latest corporate face. The large grille seen in the newer models found its way on the Transit Connect, as did slightly bigger headlamps, and a revised, sportier bumper. Inside the cabin, there’s a reshaped dashboard with a cleaner center stack, with a 6.5-inch touchscreen floating on top. The display is optional though. The instrument cluster now has a digital information center. Ford now offers wireless charging, with Waze compatibility to be introduced soon.

Moving over to tech, the Automatic Emergency Braking system comes standard with the segment-exclusive Pre-Collision Assist. The optional Adaptive Cruise Control system makes highway driving easier by automatically slowing the vehicle when radar detects traffic ahead. The available Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert rounds off the driver assist package. Continue reading to find out about the engine lineup.

Keep reading for the full story.

Class-Exclusive Diesel Option


Ford Transit Connect Gets Diesel Engine in Chicago - image 766189
“The 1.5-liter EcoBlue engine is estimated to return at least 30 mpg on the highway”

The updated Transit Connect is actually available with two new engines, but the diesel is by far the more interesting choice. A class-exclusive feature, the oil burner displaces 1.5 liters and goes by the name EcoBlue. It pairs to a new eight-speed automatic transmission and it’s estimated to return at least 30 mpg on the highway. The engine is already available in the European version of the EcoSport crossover, so we already know from there that it has aluminum block and heads, water-to-air cooling, and a variable-geometry turbo. The unit is rated at 120 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque.

The other mill is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline unit with direct injection and Auto Start-Stop as standard equipment. It too comes mated to the all-new eight-speed automatic, but other data is not available as of this writing. Ford says that the van will have a towing capability of 2,000 pounds when paired with the available trailer tow package.

References


maker logos - image 762150

Read more Chicago Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Transit Connect Gets Diesel Engine in Chicago

Ford’s smallest van, the Transit Connect, has just received a facelift at the 2018 Chicago Motor Show. Exterior updates are mild and interior upgrades are mostly about new tech and options, but there’s big news under the skin, in the form of a brand-new diesel engine.

The outer shell of the van remained largely unchanged on the sides and around back, but the front fascia now sports the company’s latest corporate face. The large grille seen in the newer models found its way on the Transit Connect, as did slightly bigger headlamps, and a revised, sportier bumper. Inside the cabin, there’s a reshaped dashboard with a cleaner center stack, with a 6.5-inch touchscreen floating on top. The display is optional though. The instrument cluster now has a digital information center. Ford now offers wireless charging, with Waze compatibility to be introduced soon.

Moving over to tech, the Automatic Emergency Braking system comes standard with the segment-exclusive Pre-Collision Assist. The optional Adaptive Cruise Control system makes highway driving easier by automatically slowing the vehicle when radar detects traffic ahead. The available Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert rounds off the driver assist package. Continue reading to find out about the engine lineup.

Keep reading for the full story.

Class-Exclusive Diesel Option


Ford Transit Connect Gets Diesel Engine in Chicago - image 766189
“The 1.5-liter EcoBlue engine is estimated to return at least 30 mpg on the highway”

The updated Transit Connect is actually available with two new engines, but the diesel is by far the more interesting choice. A class-exclusive feature, the oil burner displaces 1.5 liters and goes by the name EcoBlue. It pairs to a new eight-speed automatic transmission and it’s estimated to return at least 30 mpg on the highway. The engine is already available in the European version of the EcoSport crossover, so we already know from there that it has aluminum block and heads, water-to-air cooling, and a variable-geometry turbo. The unit is rated at 120 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque.

The other mill is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline unit with direct injection and Auto Start-Stop as standard equipment. It too comes mated to the all-new eight-speed automatic, but other data is not available as of this writing. Ford says that the van will have a towing capability of 2,000 pounds when paired with the available trailer tow package.

References


maker logos - image 762150

Read more Chicago Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon Chrysler to Send Thousands of Pacifica Minivans to Waymo

Fiat Chrysler is supplying Google’s self-driving division, Waymo, with “thousands” of Chrysler Pacifica minivans for testing on public roasts. Waymo already has a fleet of 600 FCA vehicles, which were supplied after the two companies formed a partnership in 2016. The fleet already includes vehicles capable of fully self-driving thanks to Waymo’s autonomous driving systems were installed.

John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, said, “With the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road, we’ve moved from research and development to operations and deployment. These additional vehicles will help us scale.”

Continue reading for more information.


“Testing on public roads without drivers is already taking place in 25 U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Detroit, and Atlanta.”

Waymo’s plans of scaling up to a large-scale fleet of autonomous ride-hailing vehicles are seemingly getting closer thanks to FCA’s major contribution of Chrysler Pacifica minivans. Automotive News reports the vans are specifically designed to integrate with Waymo’s proprietary hardware and software.

This doesn’t appear to be a pipe dream, either. Back in November of 2017, Waymo stated it would begin removing safety driver from its small-scale ride-hailing fleet in Chandler, Arizona. That means a Pacifica can arrive at your location by request without a driver behind the wheel. Testing on public roads without drivers is already taking place in 25 U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Detroit, and Atlanta.


Chrysler to Send Thousands of Pacifica Minivans to Waymo - image 764217

Many industry analysts predict ride-hailing services and shared vehicles will be the extremely prevalent in the future, with individual vehicle ownership decreasing dramatically. Autonomous vehicles are an integral part of that prediction and it seems the chips are falling into place.

References

Chrysler Pacifica


2017 Chrysler Pacifica - image 661184

Read our full review on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven - image 756305

Read our full driven review on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota’s New E-Palette Concept Can Serve as an Open Platform for Developers

As part of its future autonomous mobility service, Toyota has introduced the e-Palette Concept at the Consumer Electronics Show. If you’re a fan of aesthetically pleasing concept vehicles, now’s the time to turn away because the e-Palette is anything but attractive. The concept is actually just a box on four wheels, albeit one that serves a lot of different purposes depending on who’s using it.


Toyota's New E-Palette Concept Can Serve as an Open Platform for Developers - image 756234
“Toyota sees the concept as a multi-purpose smart mobility vehicle that can be used in different ways, including as a business platform for different sorts of companies”

It may not be the most attractive concept in the world, but don’t sleep on the potential of Toyota’s e-Palette Concept. What it lacks in style, it makes up for in function. Toyota sees the concept as a multi-purpose smart mobility vehicle that can be used in different ways, including as a business platform for different sorts of companies. Whether it’s Uber using it as a ride-sharing service or Amazon using it as a parcel delivery vehicle, the e-Palette Concept is versatile enough to accommodate them. The concept’s potential look to be intriguing enough that companies like Amazon, DiDi, Mazda, Pizza Hut, and Uber have all signed up as partners in the project.

From a physical perspective, the e-Palette Concept has a body that comes in three different lengths, ranging from 13 feet to 23 feet. Its boxy design helps increase usable space in the interior, allowing a business partner to design the cabin in ways it sees fit. In the case of Uber and Didi, that could entail fitting the interior with seats for commuters whereas, in Pizza Hut’s case, it could involve creating a mobile kitchen and delivery service.


Toyota's New E-Palette Concept Can Serve as an Open Platform for Developers - image 756237
“Partner companies are also free to install their own automated driving systems and vehicle management technologies into the concept”

Partner companies are also free to install their own automated driving systems and vehicle management technologies into the concept. Once these systems are installed, Toyota steps into the picture with its Guardian technology, which acts as a “safety net” that helps ensure that the operation of the vehicle is being done properly. Toyota’s goal is to create a business ecosystem around the e-Palette Concept. Partners can also take advantage of shared data that Toyota is offering through its Big Data Center service.

The E-Palette is a fascinating interpretation of what future mobility could look. It might even have a promising future as a real product if Toyota thinks it’s worth building them. Just don’t expect that day to arrive anytime soon because feasibility tests of the concept don’t begin until 2020 in Japan. Coincidentally, that’s also the same year that Tokyo is hosting the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Coincidence? I don’t think so.


References


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.


maker logos - image 741755

Read more Toyota news.


HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience - image 749046

Read more technology news.

PostHeaderIcon Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid – Driven

Though the badge says “Hybrid,” the important thing to know about the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid right off the bat is this: It’s actually a PHEV. You plug it in, and it runs on electricity for the first several miles of your day.

As I found during a week at the wheel of the electrified minivan, if you have the right commuting or parking situation, you might find yourself using little or no gasoline.

It’s noteworthy Chrysler is the first automaker to put a PHEV minivan on sale in America. For a brand with only three models in its showroom nowadays, this was an even bigger home run than the non-hybrid Pacifica that birthed it. The hybrid takes a great, competitive minivan and makes it truly special — even buzzworthy.

Best of all, it’s the kind of plug-in vehicle that just makes sense for a huge number of families. It’s not much more expensive than any comparably equipped competitive minivan, yet it gets an EPA-estimated 84 MPGe. It’s remarkable because the Pacifica Hybrid squeezes that kind of efficiency out of a big, practically sized, attractive family hauler instead of a small, weirdly styled car wrought with compromises.

After spending a week with the Pacifica Hybrid, I find myself hoping I see a lot more of them on the roads — and hoping FCA has the good sense to adapt this powertrain to other vehicles we might not normally associate with hybrid efficiency. Chrysler 300? Ram 1500? Jeep Grand Cherokee? All have the potential to be transformed into segment-changing vehicles if they can incorporate the Pacifica’s hybrid system.

Design Notes


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven - image 756304
“From the outside, there's little to differentiate the Pacifica Hybrid from other Pacifica minivans”

From the outside, there’s little to differentiate the Pacifica Hybrid from other Pacifica minivans. That’s part of the appeal. You’re not driving some weird-looking special model. Though it does have a Hybrid badge or three, they’re not trying too hard to draw attention to the electrified powertrain.

That said, it’s worth pointing out minivans are a lot less “mini” than they were 20 or 30 years ago, and the Pacifica is no exception. It rides on a 121.6-inch wheelbase and is 203.8 inches long overall. It’s 79.6 inches wide without counting the mirrors. It’s 69.9 inches tall.


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven - image 756293
“It will haul seven passengers in true comfort, and there's an ample cargo area of 32.3 cubic feet behind the third row”

But Chrysler, like other minivan manufacturers, is giving customers what they want: space. There’s a whopping 165 cubic feet of passenger space inside. It will haul seven passengers in true comfort, and there’s an ample cargo area of 32.3 cubic feet behind the third row — about twice as much cargo space as your typical family sedan. It’s enough to make one wonder why the “crossover” SUV craze is still a thing in America. No SUV has practical, uncompromised space like this. The only compromise made was the second-row seats, which don’t disappear into the floor like non-Hybrid Pacificas. Hey, they had to put the hybrid batteries somewhere.

Chrysler did great work with the exterior of the Pacifica. It has a nose that calls to mind the late Chrysler 200 midsize sedan. The windshield has a lot of sedan-like rake, too. It combines with the low, sloping, sculpted hood, to give driver and front passenger a pretty commanding view of the road. The side view has huge glass area that shrinks a little toward the rear to impart a sense of motion even when the van is parked, plus there’s a bevy of unmistakable character lines and creases. The rear hatch features cleanly integrated taillights and a surprisingly upright, yet narrow, glass.


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven - image 756311
“It’s not trying to look like a sporty wagon (wink-wink, Honda Odyssey) but it's also not a boring, utilitarian box on wheels.”

My Pacifica Hybrid was Painted Silver Teal, which is probably the easiest way to spot a Hybrid model because it’s a Hybrid-exclusive color. I found the van very attractive. It’s not trying to look like a sporty wagon (wink-wink, Honda Odyssey) but it’s also not a boring, utilitarian box on wheels.

Drive Notes


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven - image 756324
“The Pacifica was so much better-engineered that it made me forget all about those previous disappointments”

This was the first time I had driven a mass-market PHEV, and honestly, it changed the way I thought about electrified powertrains.

My previous experience with PHEVs and Hybrids had suggested that both were best suited to city life, where they could make the most of their batteries. But I live in rural Tennessee, where I have to drive 20 miles round-trip just to get to a grocery store or to my office. Hybrids don’t often achieve their EPA fuel economy numbers when I drive them, perhaps thanks to the hills and highways in my part of the country taxing their gasoline engines.

Meanwhile, the couple of premium-brand PHEVs I have sampled in the past did not have sufficient electric range to even get me to town before the gasoline engine kicked in. That was disappointing since one of those PHEVs was a luxury car that cost more than my house, its price tag pumped to such levels mainly thanks to its tiny array of hybrid batteries and a couple of electric motors.


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven - image 756303
“The electric motors — there are two — make enough power on their own to keep the pace with in-town traffic and even drive 70 mph on the highway for several miles in near-silence”

The Pacifica was so much better-engineered that it made me forget all about those previous disappointments. Why can’t every vehicle have a powertrain this well-done?

Its 33-mile electric range is commonsense stuff, given that the average American drives 29 miles a day. The electric motors — there are two — make enough power on their own to keep the pace with in-town traffic and even drive 70 mph on the highway for several miles in near-silence. There’s not much sound from the motors, and what little sound exists is soon squelched by the unintrusive white noise of wind and tires.

A word on the powertrain arrangement: feeding those electric motors is a 96-cell, 16-kWh battery pack hidden under the second row seats. Chrysler says the two electric motors are set up so that one serves as a primary power unit for the front wheels, and the other is used primarily to regenerate energy when the van is braking or coasting. However, unlike most hybrids, that smaller motor can be summoned to provide a few moments of extra oomph when needed, too.


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven - image 756320
“I was always able to squeeze about 30 to 35 miles out of the batteries, even when I did a long hill-climb to take my boys to school”

The gasoline half of the powertrain is a highly modified version of FCA’s corporate 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. It makes an estimated 260 total system horsepower when it combines its full efforts with the electric motors. That’s slightly less power than the gasoline-only version of the Pacifica (287 horsepower), but trust me, you don’t miss the power. The instantaneous torque available from the electric motors makes up for it when you need to go deep into the throttle.

This was a surprise: The Pacifica Hybrid largely hit its EPA electric range estimate. I was always able to squeeze about 30 to 35 miles out of the batteries, even when I did a long hill-climb to take my boys to school and the babysitter or when I set the cruise control at 70 mph to travel to the grocery store 20 miles from home.

An even bigger surprise: I was able to drive almost my entire test week on electricity. The Pacifica Hybrid cut my gasoline use by about 75% over the course of a week. Considering the low cost of electricity where I live, the savings over the long term would be tangible. That’s especially true when considering the reduced cost of maintenance over the life of the vehicle. Fewer oil changes would be required because the engine would see relatively little use.


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven - image 756322
“When the vehicle depletes its all-electric range, it defaults to hybrid mode, which makes the Pacifica Hybrid behave like a big Toyota Prius”

When the vehicle depletes its all-electric range, it defaults to hybrid mode, which makes the Pacifica Hybrid behave like a big Toyota Prius. The gasoline engine kicks in, but the car is always searching for ways to boost efficiency. Anytime it coasts for more than a few seconds, the engine will shut down as the hybrid battery pack receives a boost from regeneration. The engine also stops when the van stops at a traffic light, and will stay in EV mode for a few seconds after takeoff if the driver’s foot doesn’t get too heavy.

Chrysler did a good job of making the engine startup smooth. I barely noticed it when the engine kicked in. And when it did, the instantaneous fuel economy display — perhaps a bit optimistic, I admit — showed nearly 30 MPG in mostly highway driving. Impressive in a sea of 21-22 MPG minivans.


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven - image 756298
“The 10.1-inch screens were tablet-like touchscreens and featured games like checkers and a modern take on the age-old license plate game”

But beyond the gee-whiz powertrain, how is it to live with the Pacifica Hybrid? In a word, easy. There’s plenty of room for six passengers and their stuff. In my case, I hauled two kids in the back who loved the Pacifica Hybrid’s optional dual-screen rear seat entertainment system. The 10.1-inch screens were tablet-like touchscreens and featured games like checkers and a modern take on the age-old license plate game. They also can play Blu-Ray movies from the disc drive, or you can hook up a couple of players via twin HDMI ports for more direct rear-seat control.

While the second row lost its Stow-’n’-Go capability because of the battery pack under the floor, the third row would easily fold into the floor. And accessing the third row — which was roomy enough for me to be comfortable, at 6’3” — was easy because the second-row seats would tilt forward and slide out of the way with an easy pull of a lever. Nicely done, Chrysler.


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven - image 756313
“The ride is well-controlled for a big, heavy minivan”

As far as handling? Well, it’s a minivan, so I wasn’t expecting much. But most of the things I liked about the non-Hybrid Pacifica a few months earlier are still here. The ride is well-controlled for a big, heavy minivan. Rough pavement won’t upset the ride too much. The Hybrid’s electric continuously variable transmission is a great addition — smoother and more satisfying than the nine-speed automatic in other Pacificas. Steering feel, to my surprise, was not totally numb.

I ended the week saying I wanted one of these. Coming from a guy who usually says he wants his next car to be something small and weird like a Fiat 500, trust me, that’s high praise.

Competitors

It’s hard to compare the Pacifica Hybrid to other minivans, because so far, at least, nobody else is building a hybrid minivan for America. But with a federal $7,500 tax incentive, the Pacifica Hybrid really isn’t much more expensive than its non-hybrid competitors.

Honda Odyssey


2018 Honda Odyssey - image 718516
“Not surprisingly, it’s fuel economy where the Pacifica Hybrid will win over the Odyssey”

The Honda Odyssey is more sporty-looking than the Chrysler Pacifica, if that matters to you. It won’t really be more sporty to drive. These are minivans, after all.

Honda’s design inside the Odyssey is somewhat more sci-fi than the interior of the Pacifica Hybrid. I find the dashboard design of the new-for-2018 Odyssey less friendly to the eye than the one in the Pacifica Hybrid.

As for passenger and cargo space, it’s more or less a wash. There’s more than 30 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row seats in the Odyssey, and more than 80 cubic feet if you fold those third-row seats into the floor. Chrysler is not the only minivan manufacturer who knows that party trick nowadays. All three rows of seats are perfectly useful for adult passengers.

Not surprisingly, it’s fuel economy where the Pacifica Hybrid will win over the Odyssey. The Odyssey’s 3.5-liter V6 makes 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque — slightly more powerful than the 260 combined horsepower of the Pacifica Hybrid’s gas/electric powertrain. But you’re likely to see about 19 MPG city, 28 MPG highway, 22 MPG combined in the Odyssey, according to the EPA. If you’re comparing it to other non-hybrid minivans, that’s perfectly competitive. In fact, that’s what the regular Pacifica gets in EPA testing, too. But the Pacifica Hybrid’s 84 MPGe crushes that.

Odyssey can have a slight edge in price. The Pacifica Hybrid starts at $39,995. Take the $7,500 federal tax incentive and any state tax incentives into account before running the numbers, though. Where I live in Tennessee, we don’t have any state tax breaks for buying plug-in hybrid vehicles, but the federal incentive still lowers the net cost to $32,495. That’s a little more than the sub-$30,000 base Odyssey (starting price $29,990). But considering the fuel you might save, the difference isn’t large.

Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Odyssey.

Toyota Sienna


2018 Toyota Sienna - image 711154
“The Sienna has something no other minivan has in America at the time of this writing: all-wheel drive”

Toyota’s Sienna has aged a lot since the “Swagger Wagon” days. Other than the government fleet queen Dodge Grand Caravan, it’s the oldest minivan design on sale today.

But for some people, that much-respected Toyota reliability is a big selling point — especially when you’re comparing it against Chrysler, who hasn’t had the best reliability record where minivans are concerned.

The Sienna recently got a design refresh that mostly affected its face, with a slightly more aggressive front grille trim serving to give the van another year or two of relevancy before a total redesign, which I hope is coming soon for this aging platform. Inside got a few nice updates, too, including Toyota’s Entune 3.0 infotainment system that is a little easier to use and more up-to-date with the latest technologies. However, Toyota’s Entune still lacks Android Auto/Apple CarPlay capability that Chrysler is starting to sneak into its Uconnect infotainment systems of late.

Like the Odyssey, the Sienna loses on fuel consumption to the Pacifica Hybrid. That’s not a completely fair comparison, but being that it’s the Pacifica Hybrid’s primary selling point, it bears repeating.

However, the Sienna has something no other minivan has in America at the time of this writing: all-wheel drive. If you want it, you can buy a Sienna that drives all four wheels when required. You’ll pay more at purchase time, and there’s a slight penalty in fuel economy, but if you live where snow is a regular feature of winter, it may very well be worth the additional cost.

Other advantages of the Sienna include easier-to-use child anchors and tethers, which you’ll appreciate if you have to move a baby seat in and out of the van frequently, and more cargo room than Pacifica behind the third row (39.1 cubic feet vs. the Pacifica’s 32.3 cubic feet.)

Overall, I find the Chrysler Pacifica — Hybrid or not — more comfortable. And it has better safety equipment by virtue of its more recent design. But the Sienna has definite appeal where practicality and value are concerned.

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Sienna.

Kia Sedona


2015 Kia Sedona - image 548812
“The Sedona gets the worst fuel economy in the minivan segment, too, with EPA ratings of 18 MPG city, 24 MPG highway.”

The Kia Sedona came back after a brief hiatus a couple of years ago, so it is more up-to-date than the Toyota Sienna. And, true to form, Kia offers one of the strongest value propositions in the segment if your primary concern is price: The base Sedona starts about $2,000 cheaper than a base Pacifica.

Sedona does well with safety ratings, just like the Pacifica. And it offers competitive space for passengers and cargo. There’s slightly more of both in the Kia, in fact.

But where the Sedona disappoints is in its handling and powertrain. The Kia’s 3.3-liter V6 feels rougher and less-refined than Chrysler’s — doubly so when compared to the Pacifica Hybrid. Its handling is ponderous and feels awkward when hustled or when trying to navigate tight parking lots. The Pacifica feels much nicer to drive, Hybrid or not.

The Sedona gets the worst fuel economy in the minivan segment, too, with EPA ratings of 18 MPG city, 24 MPG highway.

But the pricing is what wins people over to Sedona. Kia dealers tend to be very discount-happy, and some comparison outlets show the base Sedona L regularly selling below $20,000. The difference in price buys a lot of gasoline.

I’m watching with interest to see whether Kia starts adopting its hybrid drive system to more of its models based on the early success of the Niro Hybrid. A plug-in Niro Hybrid is just coming to market at the time of this writing, and could easily lend some of its powertrain design to the Sedona to make a Chrysler competitor.

But that’s something Toyota could easily do, too, based on the preponderance of Prius hybrids and PHEVs it has sold in recent years. And despite persistent rumors that a Sienna Hybrid is “just around the corner,” it has yet to materialize. Will Kia beat Toyota to the punch to become the second hybrid minivan for sale in America? Only time will tell.

One thing is for sure, though: Kia learns quickly. Who would have thought the Soul would be the last of the subcompact boxcars to survive — and that it would survive because it’s nicer to drive, with better features and performance than the other players in that segment? Who would have said, five or 10 years ago, that the brand would build the Niro, one of the most buzzworthy hybrids and PHEVS in the industry?

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Sedona.

Conclusion


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven - image 756312

Chrysler did a great thing when it put a plug-in hybrid powertrain in the Pacifica. I already liked the Pacifica based on my test drive of the non-Hybrid version. But the Pacifica Hybrid made me fall in love.

This is the kind of practical PHEV America needs. It is my sincere hope that the auto industry takes the lessons learned in the Pacifica Hybrid and applies them to more vehicles in more segments. I didn’t realize how little gasoline I would need, even with a relatively modest 33-mile electric range.

What if a next-gen Pacifica Hybrid has a 50-mile electric range thanks to improved battery chemistry? Or what if Chrysler puts a big lump of batteries in the hole where the engine goes and gives us a 300-mile range on a Pacifica EV someday? The future is looking exciting.

If you’re shopping for a family hauler, I cannot recommend this enough: Test drive a Pacifica Hybrid. For about the price of a midsize or large crossover SUV, you can have a much more practical vehicle that will slash your gasoline expenses.

My tester had an MSRP of $47,885. The federal tax incentive would bring my net cost down to just a shade over $40,000. That’s a pretty strong deal in a world where it’s easy to find yourself shopping GMC Acadias or Nissan Pathfinders that often sell for around $40K with a few options.

It’s simple, really: The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid just makes sense.

Disclosure: Chrysler provided the vehicle, insurance, and a tank of fuel — of which I used only a couple of gallons — for this review.

References

Chrysler Pacifica


2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - image 662017

Read our full review on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Insight Returning After Four Years; Prototype Ready for Detroit Debut

Discontinued in 2014, the Honda Insight is about to make a comeback for the 2019 model year. The big news comes from the Japanese automakers, which just announced that a prototype model will be shown at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in January. Described as a precursor to the all-new model, which will go on sale next year, the prototype is will preview a vehicle described as an “upscale, stylish five-passenger sedan positioned above the Civic in the lineup.”


Honda Insight Returning After Four Years; Prototype Ready for Detroit Debut - image 753495
“The new Insight will feature the company's latest-generation, "innovative two-motor hybrid system."”

Honda didn’t release too many details, but it did mention that the new Insight will feature the company’s latest-generation, “innovative two-motor hybrid system.” Honda also promises “fuel economy that is competitive with other compact hybrid models.” The third-gen hybrid should also include “premium features and performance desired by mainstream car buyers” and present an entirely new approach in terms of styling and packaging. Well, this is definitely good news, as the previous Insight lacked some of the modern features available in vehicles from rival brands.


Honda Insight Returning After Four Years; Prototype Ready for Detroit Debut - image 753491
“While precise data isn't yet available, Honda is making a third attempt at competing against the popular Toyota Prius”

While precise data isn’t yet available, Honda is making a third attempt at competing against the popular Toyota Prius. Introduced in 1999, the first-gen Insight was the first hybrid vehicle sold in the United States and had relative success on the market until 2006. Redesigned from the ground up, the second-generation model, launched in 2009, posted far better sales in both the U.S. and Europe, but that didn’t last long. After selling more than 20,000 units per year in 2009 and 2010, and over 15,000 in 2011, North American sales dropped to less than 6,000 in 2012 and less than 5,000 in 2013. As a result, the Insight was discontinued in 2014.


Honda Insight Returning After Four Years; Prototype Ready for Detroit Debut - image 753494

Honda is reviving the nameplate for the third time, and this is good news for the market, but will the new Insight have what it takes to steal customers from the Toyota? We will probably find out more about that in January, so make sure you stick around for updates from the Detroit Auto Show.

References

Honda Insight


2014 Honda Insight - image 542846

Read our full review on the 2014 Honda Insight.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Renault and Mercedes Debut new 1.3-liter Engine!

Automotive partnerships come in many forms. In the case of Renault and Mercedes, we see that partnership come to life in the form of a newly developed 1.3-liter gasoline engine. The new engine is expected to debut in the Renault Scenic and Grand Scenic MPVs before other Renault models get their turn with it sometime in 2018.


Renault and Mercedes Debut new 1.3-liter Engine! - image 752758
“There is a chance too that Mercedes will also make use of the engine at some point in the future”

The new four-cylinder engine comes to life just in time for both automakers. Renault is getting the first crack at it since the engine is going to debut in the Scenic and Grand Scenic MPVs. There is a chance too that Mercedes will also make use of the engine at some point in the future. It did play a hand in developing it, and its capabilities are in sync with what the German automaker plans to offer with its new A-Class.

Speaking of its capabilities, the engine, called Energy TCe, will come in three different configurations. The base unit is called the Energy TCe 115, and it has 115 horsepower and around 162 pound-feet of torque. Move up the ranks, and we get the Energy TCe 160. As the number implies, this version has an output of 160 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque when hooked up to a manual transmission. The range-topping version of this engine unit is called the EDC. It still has the same horsepower output as the TCe 160, but it does get an extra eight pound-feet in torque that brings its total up to 200 pound-feet.


Renault and Mercedes Debut new 1.3-liter Engine! - image 752757
“Speaking of its capabilities, the engine, called Energy TCe, will come in three different configurations”

As much as Renault and Mercedes worked on this engine, the former’s connection with Nissan also played a role in the engine’s development. According to Renault, the cylinder coating technology used on the three-in-one TCe engine was first used on the Nissan GT-R. Apparently, this tech helps boost the engine’s efficiency by cutting down friction within the mill. On top of that, the four-cylinder engine also features Dual Variable Timing Camshaft, a system that helps improve the car’s low-end torque capabilities.

References

Renault Scenic


2017 Renault Grand Scenic - image 677207

Read our full review on the 2017 Renault Grand Scenic.


2017 Renault Scenic - image 668875

Read our full review on the 2017 Renault Scenic.

PostHeaderIcon Fisker’s Newest Project is an Electric Shuttle; Deliveries Start in Late-2018

Proclaimed as an “SUV you actually want to ride in,” Henrik Fisker has finally shown off his newest creation and the second model to be proposed for the Fisker lineup. Meet the Fisker Orbit, a model that Fisker claims will change the future of mobility forever, and has yet to go beyond the rendering stage, but is apparently slated for delivery starting in October of 2018 – that’s less than one year from the time of this writing. The company, via its Facebook page, said its an “electric, connected, autonomous shuttle for smart cities.” According to Boss Magazine, the new Orbit will be built in collaboration with Hakim Unique Group of China, a brand valued at $32 billion with 160 subsidiaries globally.

Want to know more? Keep reading…

The Orbit, a Chinese Company, New Technology


Fisker's Newest Project is an Electric Shuttle; Deliveries Start in Late-2018 - image 749323
“Orbit is something out of what we would see in a science fiction movie based in the distant future”

The rendered images of the Orbit Shuttle come just a few days after a partially blacked out image was showcased on Fisker’s Twitter page. According to the aforementioned Boss Magazine, Fisker and Hakim plan to “set a foundation” for self-driving transportation in U.S. Cities. So, it should go without saying that it will utilize the same technology found in the Fisker Emotion. As you can see from the available images, the Orbit is something out of what we would see in a science fiction movie based in the distant future. The glass can project and display test to give passersby or potential riders necessary information while the inside will likely serve as a platform for entertainment or, probably, advertisements.

“I am very excited about making the impossible, possible with intelligent urban ecosystems– starting with the development of one of the world’s most forward-thinking and uniquely designed electric, autonomous shuttles: The Fisker Orbit,” said Fisker. “Hakim Group is a very large group out of China that is already working on smart cities and many other things as well,” he continued, “They also own some areas of hospitals in L.A., coincidentally. I got to meet one of the group’s directors in L.A., and we got talking about the future of mobility.”


Fisker's Newest Project is an Electric Shuttle; Deliveries Start in Late-2018 - image 749321
“It’s still a little too early to believe that October 2018 delivery date, but you never know, it could very well happen”

With that said, it looks like Fisker may actually be the real deal this time around. With a company like Hakim as a partner, he’ll certainly have the funding needed to keep Fisker afloat. It’s still a little too early to believe that October 2018 delivery date, but you never know, it could very well happen. What do you think? Do you like the shuttle? Do you want to ride in it? Will you ride in it? Let us know in the comments section below.

References


What in the World is Henrik Fisker Working on Now? - image 747624

What in the World is Henrik Fisker Working on Now?

Fisker EMotion


2017 Fisker EMotion - image 693722

Read our full review on the 2018 Fisker EMotion.

PostHeaderIcon Fisker’s Newest Project is an Electric Shuttle; Deliveries Start in Late-2018

Proclaimed as an “SUV you actually want to ride in,” Henrik Fisker has finally shown off his newest creation and the second model to be proposed for the Fisker lineup. Meet the Fisker Orbit, a model that Fisker claims will change the future of mobility forever, and has yet to go beyond the rendering stage, but is apparently slated for delivery starting in October of 2018 – that’s less than one year from the time of this writing. The company, via its Facebook page, said its an “electric, connected, autonomous shuttle for smart cities.” According to Boss Magazine, the new Orbit will be built in collaboration with Hakim Unique Group of China, a brand valued at $32 billion with 160 subsidiaries globally.

Want to know more? Keep reading…

The Orbit, a Chinese Company, New Technology


Fisker's Newest Project is an Electric Shuttle; Deliveries Start in Late-2018 - image 749323
“Orbit is something out of what we would see in a science fiction movie based in the distant future”

The rendered images of the Orbit Shuttle come just a few days after a partially blacked out image was showcased on Fisker’s Twitter page. According to the aforementioned Boss Magazine, Fisker and Hakim plan to “set a foundation” for self-driving transportation in U.S. Cities. So, it should go without saying that it will utilize the same technology found in the Fisker Emotion. As you can see from the available images, the Orbit is something out of what we would see in a science fiction movie based in the distant future. The glass can project and display test to give passersby or potential riders necessary information while the inside will likely serve as a platform for entertainment or, probably, advertisements.

“I am very excited about making the impossible, possible with intelligent urban ecosystems– starting with the development of one of the world’s most forward-thinking and uniquely designed electric, autonomous shuttles: The Fisker Orbit,” said Fisker. “Hakim Group is a very large group out of China that is already working on smart cities and many other things as well,” he continued, “They also own some areas of hospitals in L.A., coincidentally. I got to meet one of the group’s directors in L.A., and we got talking about the future of mobility.”


Fisker's Newest Project is an Electric Shuttle; Deliveries Start in Late-2018 - image 749321
“It’s still a little too early to believe that October 2018 delivery date, but you never know, it could very well happen”

With that said, it looks like Fisker may actually be the real deal this time around. With a company like Hakim as a partner, he’ll certainly have the funding needed to keep Fisker afloat. It’s still a little too early to believe that October 2018 delivery date, but you never know, it could very well happen. What do you think? Do you like the shuttle? Do you want to ride in it? Will you ride in it? Let us know in the comments section below.

References


What in the World is Henrik Fisker Working on Now? - image 747624

What in the World is Henrik Fisker Working on Now?

Fisker EMotion


2017 Fisker EMotion - image 693722

Read our full review on the 2018 Fisker EMotion.

PostHeaderIcon Fisker’s Newest Project is an Electric Shuttle; Deliveries Start in Late-2018

Proclaimed as an “SUV you actually want to ride in,” Henrik Fisker has finally shown off his newest creation and the second model to be proposed for the Fisker lineup. Meet the Fisker Orbit, a model that Fisker claims will change the future of mobility forever, and has yet to go beyond the rendering stage, but is apparently slated for delivery starting in October of 2018 – that’s less than one year from the time of this writing. The company, via its Facebook page, said its an “electric, connected, autonomous shuttle for smart cities.” According to Boss Magazine, the new Orbit will be built in collaboration with Hakim Unique Group of China, a brand valued at $32 billion with 160 subsidiaries globally.

Want to know more? Keep reading…

The Orbit, a Chinese Company, New Technology


Fisker's Newest Project is an Electric Shuttle; Deliveries Start in Late-2018 - image 749323
“Orbit is something out of what we would see in a science fiction movie based in the distant future”

The rendered images of the Orbit Shuttle come just a few days after a partially blacked out image was showcased on Fisker’s Twitter page. According to the aforementioned Boss Magazine, Fisker and Hakim plan to “set a foundation” for self-driving transportation in U.S. Cities. So, it should go without saying that it will utilize the same technology found in the Fisker Emotion. As you can see from the available images, the Orbit is something out of what we would see in a science fiction movie based in the distant future. The glass can project and display test to give passersby or potential riders necessary information while the inside will likely serve as a platform for entertainment or, probably, advertisements.

“I am very excited about making the impossible, possible with intelligent urban ecosystems– starting with the development of one of the world’s most forward-thinking and uniquely designed electric, autonomous shuttles: The Fisker Orbit,” said Fisker. “Hakim Group is a very large group out of China that is already working on smart cities and many other things as well,” he continued, “They also own some areas of hospitals in L.A., coincidentally. I got to meet one of the group’s directors in L.A., and we got talking about the future of mobility.”


Fisker's Newest Project is an Electric Shuttle; Deliveries Start in Late-2018 - image 749321
“It’s still a little too early to believe that October 2018 delivery date, but you never know, it could very well happen”

With that said, it looks like Fisker may actually be the real deal this time around. With a company like Hakim as a partner, he’ll certainly have the funding needed to keep Fisker afloat. It’s still a little too early to believe that October 2018 delivery date, but you never know, it could very well happen. What do you think? Do you like the shuttle? Do you want to ride in it? Will you ride in it? Let us know in the comments section below.

References


What in the World is Henrik Fisker Working on Now? - image 747624

What in the World is Henrik Fisker Working on Now?

Fisker EMotion


2017 Fisker EMotion - image 693722

Read our full review on the 2018 Fisker EMotion.

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1967 Ford Mustang Convertible 1967 Ford Mustang Convertible 289 V-8 - Power Steering - Power Convertible Top
$6,855.00 (33 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Sep-20-2018 19:00:00 PDT
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1968 Ford Mustang GT 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback GT - J Code 302 -1 of 534 - Marti Report Real GT
$20,000.00
End Date: Tuesday Oct-9-2018 8:59:12 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $20,000.00
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Chevrolet Corvette 2LT Texas Direct Auto 2015 2LT Used 6.2L V8 16V Automatic RWD Coupe Bose Premium
$25,100.00 (41 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Sep-22-2018 10:02:32 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $46,780.00
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1969 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe 1969 Corvette Stingray Coupe - No Reserve!!! - 73,161 Miles
$14,500.00 (51 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Sep-19-2018 11:17:57 PDT
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1968 Ford Mustang Coupe 1968 Ford Mustang Coupe Hardtop Project - **OVER 500+ PHOTOS ON LINK** 1967 1969
$4,375.00
End Date: Sunday Sep-23-2018 17:37:18 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $4,375.00
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1969 Chevrolet Camaro 1969 Camaro rust free project roller with bucket seats
$3,850.00 (14 Bids)
End Date: Monday Sep-24-2018 15:00:00 PDT
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1949 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1949 chevy full custom 4 door diesel dually
$25,000.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Saturday Sep-22-2018 20:05:33 PDT
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1954 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1954 Chevy Panel Van shop truck patina 3100 C10
$10,600.00 (21 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Sep-23-2018 16:01:31 PDT
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Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Texas Direct Auto 2013 ZL1 Used 6.2L V8 16V Manual RWD Coupe Premium OnStar
$25,300.00 (18 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Sep-20-2018 10:00:50 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $36,980.00
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Chevrolet Camaro 2LT Texas Direct Auto 2012 2LT Used 3.6L V6 24V Automatic RWD Coupe Premium OnStar
$15,830.00
End Date: Tuesday Sep-25-2018 10:43:48 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $15,830.00
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1932 Ford Other Barn find 1932 Ford Coupe Original Paint and Parts!!
$32,950.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Sep-25-2018 15:01:22 PDT
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1965 Ford Mustang 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback 289 A Code PS PDB Air Condition Disc Brakes
$35,300.00 (11 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Sep-20-2018 13:59:28 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $57,995.00
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Ford Mustang GT Premium Texas Direct Auto 2016 GT Premium Used 5L V8 32V Automatic RWD Convertible
$197.50 (53 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Sep-25-2018 10:24:31 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $29,670.00
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1955 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1955 chevy truck
$9,999.00
End Date: Wednesday Sep-19-2018 8:01:01 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $9,999.00
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Chevrolet Camaro SS Texas Direct Auto 2016 SS Used 6.2L V8 16V Manual RWD Coupe Bose Premium
$1,925.00 (18 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Sep-20-2018 10:01:45 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $35,230.00
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1969 Ford Mustang 1969 Fastback 351 Gulfstream Aqua MACH 1. STEEL People mover front valence! :)
$12,995.00
End Date: Sunday Sep-23-2018 14:55:26 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $12,995.00
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1968 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
$5,500.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Monday Sep-24-2018 17:37:22 PDT
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Chevrolet Camaro SS Texas Direct Auto 2018 SS Used 6.2L V8 16V Manual RWD Coupe OnStar Premium
$26,612.00 (20 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Sep-19-2018 10:05:09 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $41,980.00
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1965 Ford Mustang 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 350 Clone Built 289 Tremec 5 Speed Power RackPinon
$10,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Sep-25-2018 13:24:46 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $64,995.00
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1955 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1955 Chevrolet 1st series 3100
$14,200.00 (32 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Sep-22-2018 16:37:50 PDT
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1968 Ford Mustang GT 1968 Ford Coupe GT Mustang 289 AUTO C-CODE w/ powersteering
$8,400.00 (11 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Sep-22-2018 17:57:25 PDT
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1967 Chevrolet C-10 1967 Chevrolet C-10 Custom SWB
$265.00 (6 Bids)
End Date: Monday Sep-24-2018 22:57:48 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $25,000.00
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Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2016 Z06 6.2L V8 16V Automatic RWD Bose Premium
$34,657.00 (16 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Sep-20-2018 17:47:02 PDT
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1970 Ford Mustang 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Marti Report 351W Four Speed Trans PS Rotis Resto
$13,600.00 (9 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Sep-22-2018 13:58:49 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $46,995.00
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1969 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
$39,000.00
End Date: Monday Oct-1-2018 17:34:51 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $39,000.00
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