The Buzz : 2018 Kia Stinger is on Fiyah!

Image result for Kia Stinger

Kia sports car?  A legitimate sports sedan by Kia?  Kia, say what?   Kia? 

Car and Driver says: Back in 1964, the great Muhammad Ali famously taunted heavyweight-title opponent Sonny Liston, saying he’d “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” in their upcoming match.  Our track testing revealed that the hottest Kia does indeed sting like a bee: 60 mph comes up in 4.6 seconds, it circulates the skidpad at 0.91 g, and it stops from 70 mph in 164 feet. Kia claims that the car’s top speed is governed at 167 mph. Those numbers match up well with larger, much more expensive performance sedans like some that competed in a recent comparison test , including the Audi A6 3.0T Competition and the Cadillac CTS V-Sport.

Road and Track (Sept 2017)  If you’re in the market for a 4-series Gran Coupe, you should check your brand prejudice and take this car seriously. BMW and Audi will, if they have any sense.

The (Dec 2017): Human Drivers, Lend Me Your Votes: The Kia Stinger Should Be the 2018 North American Car of the Year.    As an automotive writer who’s blessed (or cursed) with strong opinions on cars , my vote for the North American Car of the Year award is usually a slam dunk. Not this year.  The 2018 Kia Stinger and equally-new Honda Accord have had me straddling the fence and engaging in Socratic arguments with myself. But decision time is at hand, so here goes: The Kia Stinger is my 2018 North American Car of the Year. And my esteemed fellow jurors, if they’re not idiots, should agree with me.   LAWRENCE ULRICH

Just 11 minutes of your time 

“For Krazy Car Nuts Only”



 the GT

Engine: 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6
Horsepower: 365 hp
Torque: 376 lb-ft

0–60 mph Acceleration: 4.4 s
Top Speed: 167 mph
70–0 mph Braking Distance: 158 ft
Roadholding on 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.93 g

(Stats from Road and Track)

Designed by Peter Schreyer (Former Designer at Audi) and  Gregory Guillaume (Former  Chief Designer for Volkswagen Group

Engineered by Albert Biermann (Former Vice President engineering of BMW’s famed “M” division).

2018 Stinger GT $39K

Random Stuff

In 2016 Hyundai Motor Group (Hyundai, Kia, Genesis) became the third largest automaker in the world behind Toyota and Volkswagen.

The Hyundai Motor Group isn’t just interested in making good basic cars, they are making a statement.  They are assembling some of the best names in the industry. I  Luc Donckerwolke who once was the Design Director for Vw’s  Bentley, Lamborghini and Audi is now heading the new Genesis brand.

The challenge for Kia is to convince someone who is in the market for a sports sedan, to drop 39K for a Kia.  .

The automotive writers say, in the last few years Cadillac has been building some of the best cars on the market.  American cars,,that will out handle and in many cases out run the best from Europe.   But the public isn’t buying.   So it may be a tough sell for Kia.

For some its the pedigree,  if it isn’t a Lexus or from Europe, it wont do ?

But I’m that guy in the Charger Hellcat, in outrageous Red . I’d be sipping on my Slurpee at some traffic light in the Napa Valley.   Smoking the best from Germany and even keeping up with a few $400k Supercars.

Grey Poupon? No Frenches Dammit! 

If the pedigree isn’t important to you. Test drive the Stinger GT .  It does have one thing the other don’t.  A 10 year 100,000 mile warranty.







He blabbed about their secret and she tried to mow him down in her Mercedes Benz

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Photo: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

This story has the ingredients to fill a segment on “Jerry Springer”


Jupiter Florida mom AND Mercedes Benz owner. 58 year old Kathleen Regina Davis

HAD an affair with her daughters husband !  Yes, Yess Yessssss

Her 33 year old son in law (soon to be EX) told her daughter of the affair!

Kathleen wants him to DIE!

She blames him for ruining her relationship with her daughter and she is beyond mad!

Image result for i live in denial

Someone is in denial

On Sept 20th 

She drove to his Crestdale Street home and allegedly tossed several eggs at his residence and vehicles.


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When the Palm Beach Gardens police arrived, they saw Mommy in law driving in circles in the front yard of the house while attempting to hit her former lover with her Mercedes.

He told police he was nearly hit by the Mercedes “multiple times”

I wanted to run him over and I wanted him to DIE!!! is what Kathleen told Police.

Davis is facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill and was released from the Palm Beach County Jail on Sept. 22 after posting a $3,000 bond.


This sounds perfect for the ID channel

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Murder by Mercedes 

Mercedes Dearest?

Bent by da Benz? 

These are all lame, So will end here.

Your Welcome


Genesis: The Beginning


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Twenty Seven years ago a Japanese Company Toyota, entered the Luxury Car market to compete with the likes of BMW, Mercedes Benz and Cadillac .   Their first model the Lexus LS400 was an instant hit and immediately established Lexus as a player.  Within months Nissan and Honda entered the market.   Today, Lexus and Acura are solid premium players. Image result for 1989 lexus ls400

1989 Lexus LS400

 Hyundai entered the US market in 1985 offering ultra low priced cars the Excel. Americans quickly snapped them up. The quality of these cars was sup par, but that was so 1985.

Today, the worlds fifth largest automaker quality ranks in the top 10.

In 2009, Hyundai introduced the Genesis, it was Hyundai’s Flagship vehicle. It was the 2009 North American Car of the Year as well as the 2009 Canadian Car of the Year.  Like the Lexus, many automotive journalist called the Genesis a solid effort and few thought it competed with the Mercedes and BMW, few.

For some time there has been talk about Hyundai starting a Luxury Division. Last November Hyundai officially introduced Genesis Motors to the world. The Hyundai Genesis was renamed the G80 and is currently sold at Hyundai dealerships. The flagship g90 is sold at select Hyundai dealerships.  As of this writing the nearest g90 is in Antioch California.

Plans for Genesis is very ambitious. Hyundai plans to have six Genesis models by 2020.  A smaller (think BMW 3 series) sedan ,a sports coupe, and two SUVs . In the next few years there will be Genesis Stores nationwide.   Currently the Genesis is being marketed in Korea, China, the Middle East and the United States.

G90 was one of the few Hits at the Sacramento Auto Show

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Everything !

G90 buyers have a choice of a turbo charged six cylinder or an eight cylinder with either real wheel drive or all wheel drive.   Everything else is standard.


The rear seats recline heat,cool and massage you.

For the first three years of ownership, all maintenance is included.  Genesis will simply pick up your car and leave you with a loaner.  Roadside Assistance is included as well as monthly health reports of your vehicle.   Owners can make appointments via a smartphone and the warranty is 10 years or 100,000 miles.

Playing for Keeps

Manfred Fitzgerald, former director of brand and design at Lamborghini, is senior vice president.  Luc Donckerwolke, former design director of Volkswagen Groups (Bentley, Lamborghini and Audi divisions)  led the design brand since early 2016, and works alongside Hyundai-Kia’s chief designer Peter Schreyer (who is also from Audi) . Albert Biermann, former head of BMW’s M performance division, oversees tuning and performance.  (source Wiki)

I have driven the G80 and look forward to an extensive test the G90 with its massive interior room.

 (Call me Hyundai call me!)

The G90 starts at 69K and tops off at 73K.  It competes with Lexus LS 460, BMW 7 series and Mercedes S class at thousands less and a much stronger warranty.

Looks and Value. Hyundai looks like they’re planning to shake up the Luxury Segment. Smart shoppers for a luxuty car should look beyond the pedigree and take the Genesis for a test drive.






Why you might own at Tesla or and Electric car in the Next Five years!

By CityFella

A few years ago the State of California approved  rules requiring 15 percent of cars sold in California to be all-electric, plug-in hybrid electric or hydrogen vehicles.   This means in your an automaker 15%  of your fleet must be one of above. Compliance begins with model year 2018. Full compliance is expected by 2025.

A few years ago these cars began appearing on dealers lots buried in the back.  With the exception of Nissan , few marketing dollars has been spent for all electrics and plug-in vehicles.  To make matters worse, prospective buyers often encounter uninformed salespeople.

High Anxiety

For many the downside of owning an all electric car is range.   Most electric vehicles have a very short driving range including the best selling Nissan Leaf has a range under 80 miles.  In Sacramento, that means a shopping tour of the Rocklin area with a stop at an “In and Out’ drive through” could be a little nerve wrecking.

The vehicle with the longest range is the Tesla, the Model S with its basic battery has a range of 208 miles* and 265 miles with the larger battery.    This makes the Tesla the car of choice for commuters.

According to Car there are nearly 130 charging stations in the Sacramento region.   However, it isn’t a one size fits all.  Manufacturers offers an app to direct you to the nearest charging station.   Unlike, gas stations most charging stations are free.  If they are located in parking garages, you pay for parking only.

Electric cars were popular in the early 1900’s  

Electric cars aren’t new, they were popular in the big cities because they were quiet, easy to drive and didn’t pollute.    hey were perfect for short trips around the city, and poor road conditions outside cities meant few cars of any type could venture farther. As more people gained access to electricity in the 1910s, it became easier to charge electric cars, adding to their popularity with all walks of life.

From the History of Electric cars

Many innovators at the time took note of the electric vehicle’s high demand, exploring ways to improve the technology. For example, Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the sports car company by the same name, developed an electric car called the P1 in 1898. Around the same time, he created the world’s first hybrid electric car — a vehicle that is powered by electricity and a gas engine. Thomas Edison, one of the world’s most prolific inventors, thought electric vehicles were the superior technology and worked to build a better electric vehicle battery. Even Henry Ford, who was friends with Edison, partnered with Edison to explore options for a low-cost electric car in 1914, according to Wired.  

Many believed the Model-T killed the electric car.  The massed produced car at $650 was one third the cost of an electric car.  Cheap gas and better roads buried it.   By 1935, nearly all electric cars disappeared.

In the 90’s, General Motors developed an electric car from the ground up.  Because of high production cost GM didn’t believe the EV1 was commercially viable and despite its cult following. GM discontinued the car in 2001 and  repossessed the leased cars and destroyed them.  The remaining vehicles can be found in museums.

Tesla A Player?

With the California mandate, automobile manufactures simply converted combustion engines to electric.  Most manufacturers sell those vehicles at a loss.

Tesla has been around for twelve years now.  Its first car, the Roadster was introduced in 2008.

According the Wikipedia it sold 25oo units.  This car was designed from the ground up to be an electric vehicle. The Roadster cost $102,000, the car was discontinued in 2012.  It had a range of 200 miles.

In 2012, Model S was introduced at a price of $59,000 and depending of the size of the battery offered a range from 160, to 265 miles.   The first year Tesla sold over 22,000 cars.  Last year nearly 32,000 cars sold globally. Tesla builds cars in Fremont, California and in The Netherlands.  This year the Model S is available in Shanghai, China.

Model S has made an impact on the large manufacturers as the Model S has taken sales from the like of Mercedes Benz, BMW, and other luxury brands.


Last June, CEO  Elon Musk  wrote a blog stating. that the company would not initiate lawsuits against anyone who wishes to use their technology in good faith.   To build an all electric car would cost the industry billions.

In the blog post, Elon Musk stated that he was disappointed with the rate at which other car companies were adopting the electric vehicle technology. As the global production of vehicles approaches 100 million per year, electric vehicles only form less than 1% of that number.  Tesla moved into the supplier business in order to nudge other companies into adopting the technology but the company?s efforts so far have not paid off. By granting access to its technology, the company is hoping that more vehicle manufacturers will adopt the technology, thereby growing the market for EV?s. If the move is successful, it could lead to advantageous network effects for the company.

Why you might buy a Tesla or Electric Car in 5 years

In 2000, the Toyota Prius went on sale in the United States at a cost of 22,000.  From 2000 t0 2014 over 1.5 million cars were sold.  Today, Toyota has over 67% of  world the hybrid sales.   With Ford being a distant second.

In 2017, Tesla Gigafactory opens in Reno,Nevada.

In the last quarter of 2017, Tesla plans to build Model 3.

At a projected price of $35,000 and a range of 200 miles this will be the game changer.  The Model 3 will be affordable to more consumers.

In 2013, measured the cost of owning an Model S vs BMW 7 Series

Average cost of electricity in California: 16 cents per kilowatthour (kWh).

Average cost of premium gas in California in 2013: $4.09

Miles driven: 23,000

Fuel efficiency of the BMW 7 Series: 19 mpg

Fuel efficiency for Tesla: 3 miles/kilowatthour

Cost of electricity to drive the Tesla 23,000 miles: $1,226

Cost of premium gas to drive BMW 7 Series 23,000 miles: $4,951

Money saved on fuel by driving Tesla: $3,724

Obviously, there are many factors that could change the result of these calculations. But most of the variables play in favor of the Tesla. For example, there are many free public charging stations where there is no cost for electricity. The electricity from Tesla’s superchargers is also free. And many people who get a Tesla become enraptured with solar power and have panels installed on their houses. This drops the cost of electricity well below the 16-cent average. Additionally, some utilities reduce rates for charging EVs at night. Southern California Edison, for example, charges only 11 cents kWh for charging after midnight.

Also keep in mind that these figures are just for 23,000 miles. Over 100,000 miles the savings in fuel costs is $16,192.

Tesla has Charging stations all over the country. Today your can drive from San Diego to Vancouver Canada. and from San Diego to New York City using Tesla’s free charging stations along the way.

BMW is building its network of stations.  Of course it would make sense for the industry to adopt Tesla’s charging system, but today its Tesla vs the world.

Map of Tesla charging stations in 2015.

Is this an endorsement of Tesla?

No, its an endorsement of alternative energy. We need alternative to the combustion engine. Despite the improvements it is still largely responsible for air pollution. (Its the number one source in Sacramento) Its an endorsement of cleaner cars.    Before the success of Toyota’s Hybrid System if you wanted an fuel efficient car, you were limited to a small, under powered subcompact car.

Today, you can find hybrid systems of Lincoln’s, BMW and Mercedes Benz.   Today there are 8 passenger Suv’s achieving 27 mpg in the city.  Today the EPA rates the  Lincoln MKZ Hybrid  city mileage at 41 miles per gallon.  A figure unimaginable 20 years ago.

Later this year Toyota will sell the world first hydrogen car the Mirai.

Today, we need Tesla to succeed..

America Strikes Back Cadillac’s New Vision

By CityFella

There was a time when you knew a Mercedes Benz was a Mercedes Benz and A BMW a BMW front to back, the vehicles were unmistakable.  Today, not so unless your looking at the grill. Today, they disappear into a sea of Toyota’s, Nissan’s and Hyundai’s.   Audi and Jaguar have taken a sizable bite out of Mercedes and BMW sales and could Cadillac be next?

From the ATS to the DTS the look is unmistakably Cadillac.   But Cadillac has stumbled of late, while the automotive press loves the cars, dealers have thousands of  unsold 2014’s  on the lots.   Cadillac often cost the same or more than their German counterparts .

Cadillac had made some bold moves to change the perception of the division.  The first move was to leave Detroit. The headquarters is now in New York.   The flagship CT6 was introduced at one of the worlds most important auto shows in the city where they hope most of their cars,like the flagships of Mercedes, BMW, and other imported luxury cars are sold.

Lincolns Continental was introduced in New York to tell the world Lincoln is still alive.  Cadillac is making a different statement. Its telling the world they are a completely different company .From all the interviews from Cadillac’s handlers  at the Auto Show this car will be marketed differently.Your not likely to see this car advertised after Cheetos or Wal Mart.


BIG MAN RIDES: 2015 Chrysler 200

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2015 Chrysler 200

Sorry had to go there

It’s difficult to write about the new Chrysler 200 without talking about the old Chrysler 200.   The old 200 and its twin the Dodge Avenger were not horrible cars, they just weren’t good cars.   They were products of the old Daimler (Mercedes Benz) Chrysler marriage.

Daimler gutted Chrysler.  Jeep’s technology is what they wanted and  for the most part left Chrysler with sup-par vehicles.  Today, a lot of the Jeep’s DNA can be found  in several Mercedes SUV.  The current Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango  share the same platform with the ML that was developed jointly with Mercedes.

Daimler’s  DNA can be found in the current Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger,Challenger and the discontinued Dodge Magnum. The rear suspension ,the 5-speed automatic transmission’s and  the double wishbone front suspension that is derived from the W220 Mercedes S Class.

Fiat has to be commended, they freshened and improved drivablity of the 200 in 2012 as well as other cars  from the Daimler era.  They even raised its image and sales with a bold two minute commercial for Super Bowl XLV featuring Eminem with the motto Imported from Detroit.

The 2015 Chrysler 200

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The 200 may be the best new vehicle the new Fiat Chrysler has developed.  The launch of the 2013 Dodge Dart was horrific.  Its a good car but it wasn’t ready for market.  Last year’s Jeep Cherokee was a home run and the marketing and sales for the current 200 has been excellent.

The three vehicles are built on Fiat’s Compact platform now called  Compact U.S. Wide on which the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is based.

The standard engine is Chrysler’s 2.4 Tigershark 4 producing 184 horsepower and 173 pound feet of torque.   The optional engine is the 3.6 Pentastar 6 producing 295 horsepower and 262 pound feet of torque. Both are mated to a 9 speed automatic transmission.

I drove the base model with the 2.4

Sacramento to San Francisco

The first thing I noticed was the power, I initially though I was driving the Pentastar.  The steering and the suspension felt substantial.  The 200 its its base form was very quiet.  Pairing my phone with the base model was Chrysler easy. (Believe the hype-Chrysler has it down) .  Freeway cracks and joints did not upset the Chrysler.  By the time I hit Fairfield, I was averaging 33 mpg  driving 75.


The 200 is very handsome car inside and out. . It looks much better in person than its looks on TV or the Magazine.   The interior is well done.  The transmission selector  is a knob on the console.  For the first couple of days, I had the cleanest windshield in the Bay Area as I would reach to the wiper stalk to change gears.

Interior of the LX with the standard Radio-Photo-autos,terras

With the traditional transmission selector gone, the 200 has one of the roomiest and functional consoles in the business. With a push of button the drink holder slides back to reveal a large storage area. Underneath the transmission knob is a place for two phones. In addition to the console is a large compartment underneath the arm rest.  In addition to the touch screen there are many large buttons and switches that are easily accessible.  The materials used is throughout the car is pretty good.

Huge pillars hampered visibility throughout the car.  People, mailboxes and cars disappeared.   The sloping roof line, made rear seat entry difficult for tall people and room in the rear seat was fair.  Someone sitting behind me said they lost feelings in their legs and feet.

One speed to many? 

On the streets of  Sacramento and on the local freeways the nine speed transmission was flawless. However on some of the hills of San Francisco it would lose its way .  The transmission would hesitate after a stop going up a steep street.  On a long downhill its would need a minute to find the right gear.   Noting major but noticeable.

The potholes did not upset the 200. However, a few rattles were unearthed by the rough streets of San Francisco.  They disappeared when we returned to Sacramento.

Big Man Ride

I am 6.4 and over 300 pounds.   The front seat leg room was very good.   The width of the seat was very good for this wide bodied man.  The nice thick steering wheel tilted and telescoped for infinate adjustments.  There are adjustments for the height of the seats.  On a long drive the base seats weren’t comfortable, if I were buying this car I would spring for the leather seats.

This car would be perfectly fine for an averaged size family.    However this is BIG MAN RIDES and if you are a tall man and frequently carry passengers (especially tall) this isn’t the car for you.  The Volkswagen Passat would be a better choice.


The 200 enters a large segment, the midsize field is the most crowed in autodom.  The new Chrysler 200 is impressively stylish, fuel efficient with the four.   As a midsize car its about mid pack, there are cars that have more room and handle better and get better gas mileage.  Its is one of three cars in the segment available with all wheel drive.   The person who shops the 200 are likely to shop the Ford Fusion and the Mazda 6. She needs a midsize car, but wants a little style and I think Fiat Chrysler may have another hit on their hands.


200 Chrysler

 Prices start 21,800 for the base model to 30,055 for the All Wheel Drive Model

                          mpg 23/36                                                               mpg 18/29 (V6)

How Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche Plan to Shock Tesla



Target Tesla Lead


By: George Kacher/Automoblie Magazine,

Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche are about to invest a combined 6 billion euros (about $7.5 billion) in new high-end electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids due out between 2018 and 2021. Their target: the American upstart from Silicon Valley.

Ten years ago, when Elon Musk’s outfit was still a cottage enterprise selling electrified Lotus Elise roadsters, the und George Kachererdog from San Carlos, California, was not even on the radar of German captains of the industry. But then Tesla released the Model S electric luxury sedan, and the niche manufacturer transformed into a game changer. In addition to selling more than 33,000 cars last year, the company started to roll out a clever supercharger network, announced plans for a second plant and an R&D center in Europe, unveiled an innovative battery-swap program, previewed its first SUV (the falcon-wing Model X), and gave details of a new high-volume, low-cost product, the $35,000 Model 3, which aims directly at the likes of the BMW 3 Series. As a result, Tesla’s stock market value has soared to an incredible $30 billion.

Although Tesla’s ink is still red and the sales figures are comparatively modest, the predominantly German luxury-car establishment is already feeling the squeeze in certain micromarkets such as Southern California and Norway, where the Tesla Model S attracts more affluent buyers than the S-Class, 7 Series, or A8.

In their counterattack, the four German premium car manufacturers are all pursuing similar goals: electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Instead of pooling resources and components, however, they’re heading down individual yet almost parallel avenues. The nomenclatures of the new models are by no means final, but the concepts are being firmed up as you read this. The first design previews may be seen as early as at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show. Like the BMW i8 or next year’s Audi R8 e-tron, their mission is to act as halo cars, technology showcases, and image leaders for wealthy, green-minded early adopters. Yet all of them are intended to be more than niche models; global target volumes are in the tens of thousands, and projected prices range from just below that of the Tesla Model S to more than $125,000. And they pave the way for an even broader range of more affordable German plug-in vehicles.


Tesla Targets

Tesla’s sales could grow by leaps and bounds once the promised follow-up cars to the Model S arrive.

Tesla Model S

Model S

Both the 60-kWh and 85-kWh versions were recently updated; the latter now offers AWD.

Tesla Model X

Model X

Three-row SUV with 60- or 85-kWh battery and standard AWD. Deliveries start in early 2016.

Tesla Model 3

Model 3

Formerly known as the Model E, the $35,000 entry-level Tesla with a 200-mile range from its 48-kWh battery pack. Due in 2017.

Why is this happening Now

Tesla is one reason the Germans are going electric, but not the only reason.
Come 2018, at least 4.5 percent of all cars sold in California (and the states that have adopted California emissions rules) must be zero-emissions vehicles. This number is set to increase in annual steps to 22 percent by 2025. Manufacturers that fail to comply by not offering any or enough ZEV, TZEV (transitional zero emission vehicles), NEV (neighborhood electric vehicles), or BEVx (e-vehicles with range extender) must buy clean-air credits from sources such as Tesla, currently the major provider of such certificates.


A Q5-based crossover coupe.

AUDI Coupe Front Three Quarter

In an ideal world, Audi would—just like Tesla—start its electric program with a clean sheet of paper. But a new architecture is complex and expensive, which is why the brand is instead inclined to modify an existing vehicle built in an existing facility.

Thus the planned Q6 e-tron, a battery-electric and plug-in hybrid crossover, is derived from the Q5. The Q6 e-tron will almost certainly be a sporty crossover coupe that looks a bit like the proposed Lamborghini Urus with a greater regard for aerodynamic efficiency. Drivetrain options pegged at 300 hp/330 lb-ft and 400 hp/480 lb-ft (with a 500-hp/553 lb-ft flagship waiting in the wings) should be enough to beat the Model S in all disciplines that really matter: power and torque, real-life driving range, and, most important to Germans, sustainable performance. The Q6 e-tron must not tire early on the autobahn or flake out after only one hot lap on the Nordschleife.

AUDI COUPE Rear Three Quarter

Such ambitious goals will consume enormous engineering resources; the Q6 e-tron might take up to four years to materialize. In the meantime, Audi will kick off its green revolution with a bunch of plug-in hybrids based on the Q7, the A8, the next Q5, and the A6/A7 replacement. They will rely on a mix of 2.0-liter fours and 3.0-liter V-6s mated with a 122-hp electric motor. The Q7 and A8 will carry over conventional Quattro all-wheel-drive systems, in contrast to the Q6 e-tron’s purely electric system. Audi’s luxury electric crossover will likely cost between $80,000 and $100,000. Production will be somewhere in the five-digit range.


A sedan that might get the i Badge.

BMW 8 Series Front Three Quarter In Motion

BMW’s Tesla fighter is based on the Chinese-market, longwheelbase 5 Series sedan and is due out in 2018. The plug-in hybrid four-door should contain enough electric power to justify the prestigious i suffix, particularly since the next i3 and i8 replacements are not expected to adhere quite as religiously to today’s exotic and expensive carbon-fiber/aluminum formula. That means the new sedan could also get away with being less radical and still earn an i5 or i7 badge.

Whatever it’s called, the BMW is being described as a low-emissions sport sedan featuring an innovative plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The extended wheelbase not only creates more room for passengers—important for both the North American and Chinese markets—but also for the batteries, which will be arranged in pouches between the axles.

Using the 5 Series architecture will help BMW keep costs down and crank the volume up. Management plans to use an existing factory and build about 30,000 units a year. The suspension, steering, brakes, and basic packaging will be adopted from the 5 Series. The drivetrain, however, will borrow from and improve upon what’s in the i8. Although technically it will be a plug-in hybrid, with a gasoline engine up front and the main electric motor in the back, it will in truth be an electric vehicle with a powerful range extender. The i5/i7 will boast two electric motors, instead of the i8’s one. Depending on the driving situation, it can be electric front-wheel drive, electric rearwheel drive, or gasoline-electric all-wheel drive. Said to be capable of a zero-emissions range of 80 miles, this BMW is designed to operate in battery mode most of the time. The combustion engine will typically only cut in above 40 mph, when road and wind noise will mask it.

BMW 8 Series Rear Three Quarter In Motion

A concept car is tipped to appear in 2017, although the design is still in a state of flux. The strategy team, led by a former Project i manager, seems to favor a mix of current 6 Series Gran Coupe and next-generation 7 Series styling elements. The price? A bit under $100,000, close to the price of the 2015 Tesla Model S P85D.


A sporty four-door.

Porsche 4Door Front Three Quarter

Porsche is already offering plug-in-hybrid versions of the Cayenne and the Panamera. On an even loftier plane, there is of course the 918 Spyder. The logical next step would be a Porsche EV somewhere in between those poles. But ever since the company has become part of the Volkswagen empire, such strategically significant projects need to be rubber-stamped by the group. In this highly political environment, where even insiders find it hard to sift facts from rumors, our intelligence suggests that Porsche would very much like to do its own EV, based on the new architecture under development for the next-generation Panamera and Bentley Continental. The car would be a sporty four-seat four-door in a smaller-than-Panamera package with clear 911 overtones. Ground-hugging and emphatically dynamic in appearance, the car—which might be badged 717—is definitely not an SUV or a crossover.

Rather than raising the floor, Porsche would jam batteries in every open space: the center tunnel, the bulkheads, the doorsills, the footwells, and the overhangs.

To adapt the Panamera/Continental architecture to the needs of an EV is no mean feat. While the fl at-bottom Tesla features a long and wide battery pack that also functions as a floorpan and a structural reinforcement, the lower H-point and the sports-car stance postulated by Porsche would call for a so-called topologic battery installation. That’s a fancy way of saying that rather than raising the floor, Porsche would jam batteries in every open space: the center tunnel, the bulkheads, the doorsills, the footwells, and the overhangs. In total, a reported 108 battery pouches need to be packed into the body.

It is hard to judge whether Porsche’s provisional launch date of early 2019 is realistic or wishful thinking. The same applies to projected technical details, which, according to one insider, include three different e-power stages rated at 400, 500, and 600 hp. The average driving-range target is in excess of 300 miles. As a rule, there is one electric motor per axle. Together with the U.S. specialist supplier QuantumScape, Porsche (and VW/Audi) is developing a new induction charging process designed to match Tesla in speed and beat it in convenience. All versions of the 717 would feature all-wheel drive, all-wheel torque vectoring, and fourwheel steering. Because of the genetic link to the relatively conventional Panamera componentry, weight is bound to be an issue for the electric Porsche. At the same time, the Panamera connection may be essential to build more than 10,000 units a year at a profit.

Porsche 4Door Rear Three Quarter In Motion

A critical question is whether Porsche will be allowed to do its own thing. And would it not make more sense for Porsche to attack the Elon Musk enterprise with an electric sports car conceived to outshine the discontinued Tesla roadster? While Porsche’s head honcho acknowledged earlier this year that a sporty zeroemissions model would work well for the brand, the chief vehicle line engineer recently ruled out an electric 911, which raises the specter of a Boxster/Cayman EV. Alternatively, Porsche might be coaxed to join Audi in a crossover EV since creating a sportier Q6 e-tron derivative with a Macan badge would be relatively simple. But as far as the halo eff ect and brand image are concerned, the marque’s own 717 proposal is hard to beat.


Four models in two size classes.

Mercedes M Coupe Front Three Quarter In Motion

Of the four Germans, Mercedes-Benz is plotting the most ambitious EV assault. It calls for an investment of more than $2 billion in a family of all-new, purpose-built vehicles, which make provisions for rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and rear-wheel steering. The program, known internally as Ecoluxe, is tipped to produce four different product offerings. Two are crossovers, which should do well in most major markets and generate strong profit margins.

The clear goal issued by the M-B product planners is to eclipse both the Tesla Model S and the Model X crossover. Due to the substantial battery pack, the seating position has to be raised by nearly 3 inches compared with a typical SUV. The ground clearance, on the other hand, is not much different from an S-Class. For a sporty look, design intends to keep the roofline low, set the wheelbase of the smaller variant at 106 inches, and opt for large-diameter wheels shod with relatively wide tires—a Mercedes-Benz take on the Range Rover Evoque, if you will. The two larger cars would ride on a 118-inch wheelbase and seat up to seven adults. Like the BMW i3 and i8, the Ecoluxe cars would use a chassis and suspension made predominantly of aluminum. The body, on the other hand, will be composed of a variety of materials including different gauge steels, aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber, and composites. That should off set the weight of the 850-pound battery pack.

When in full swing, the Mercedes electric invasion will be able to pump out 80,000 vehicles a year. Better still, the modular architecture makes it very easy to generate

The first model due to hit showrooms is a large, long-wheelbase crossover offered with five or seven seats. Known internally as Sport Utility Coupe, this GL-size vehicle will cost about $125,000 when fitted with the highest-performance powertrain. One year later, Mercedes is expected to unleash the first of two so-called sport-utility sedans, basically a stretched E-Class with the availability of three rows of seats. In both cases, the third row would be a rearfacing pop-up bench that can be accessed through extra-wide doors. Both top-of-theline models will stretch longer than 16 feet and would feature front and rear luggage compartments.

A pair of smaller and less expensive five-seat models—a conventional three-box sedan and a crossover—would complete the electric-vehicle portfolio. Although the launch cadence (like everything else about the project) is not yet cast in stone, the timing spans 2019 to 2021. Since these vehicles would share few parts with existing Mercedes models, they’d likely require a new factory located in Europe or North America.

Mercedes M Coupe Rear Three Quarter In Motion

Like Tesla, Mercedes will off er several options for power and battery range. Initially, we should see a version rated at 545 hp and a range topper delivering more than 610 hp. The driving range would be between 280 miles and 350 miles, depending on model and powertrain. All Ecoluxe vehicles will ride on electronically controlled, adaptive dampers and will have adjustable ride height. A host of driver assistance systems will also be part of the package.

When in full swing, the Mercedes electric invasion will be able to pump out 80,000 vehicles a year. Better still, the modular architecture makes it very easy to generate plug-in hybrid spinoff s; a split floor would house the fuel tank next to the battery elements. These models would off er a 60-mile zero-emissions range together with as much gasoline-powered grunt as marketing asks for.

Tesla Model S P85D

More for the Germans to worry about.

2015 Tesla Model S P85D Front Three Quarter In Motion

Tearing forward in Tesla’s all-new, twin-motor, all-wheel-drive Model S P85D, the blood is pooling up in the back of our brain. And we’re reminded why Audi, BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz are dumping time, money, and resources into an all-out, electric-vehicle onslaught.

This D-type version of the Tesla Model S sedan doubles down on technology, with double the motors and double the driving wheels. Dual-motor all-wheel drive is available only on the Model S with the 85-kWh battery pack. The P85D’s rear motor is rated at 470 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, and its front motor puts out 221 hpand 224 lb-ft of torque. The result is an all-wheel-drive sedan with 691 hp and 687 lb-ft of torque. It will go from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and through the quarter mile in 11.8 seconds, and Tesla engineers tell us that motor torque can be apportioned not only front to rear but also side to side. As a result, drivers have greater confidence to toss the Tesla Model S P85D into quick corners.

While financial analysts fret about Tesla’s balance sheet and the delay of the Model X launch, remember that Tesla built some 33,000 electric cars last year. It’s not just tightening emissions regulations, and it’s not just voyaging into a new automotive frontier—it’s that Tesla, that scrawny start-up from Silicon Valley, now has a surprising and exotic luxury sedan with a forward-thinking powertrain that scares Germany’s best sport sedans.


On Sale: Now
Base Price: $105,670 (excluding tax credits)
Engine: Twin 3-phase, 4-pole AC motors; 221 hp, 244 lb-ft (front); 470 hp, 443 lb-ft (rear)
Transmission: single-speed automatic
Layout: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-/rear-engine, AWD sedan
L x W x H: 196.0 x 77.3 x 56.5 in
Wheelbase: 116.5 in
Weight: 4,936 lb
0-60 mph: 3.2 sec
Top speed: 155 mph (electronically limited)