Concept of the Day: Peugeot Exalt
April 14, 2014 § 1 Comment
Peugeot is showing its follow-up to the Onyx concept car at the Beijing Motor Show: the Exalt, now petrol-fuelled, has a 340bhp plug-in hybrid drivetrain developed from that of the 3008/508 Hybrid4 models with a 1.6 THP turbocharged engine (270bhp), a 50kW electric motor powering the rear axle, and a six-speed auto gearbox. Am liking the bare-steel bodypanels, though not so keen on the ‘shark skin’ low-drag red-coated rear end, and I’m not sure Macassar ebony (used on the upper door panels inside) should be encouraged – it’s rare and edging towards being endangered, apparently. It’s a striking-looking thing, nonetheless.
- Mercedes-Benz has started production of the B-Class Electric Drive at Rastatt, with sales to follow (mainland Europe) from mid-year. The e-B features Tesla-sourced lithium-ion batteries (Daimler owns a 10% stake in Tesla), and a 177bhp/250lb ft motor; top speed is 100mph, 0-62mph happens in 7.9 seconds and M-B is considering right-hand drive sales for next year, reports Autocar.
- There’ll be a hybrid version of the Lexus NX compact crossover – to be launched in Beijing – reports Automotive News. And Toyota is rolling out some new petrol engines with significant economy/emissions improvements, thanks to moves including incorporating Atkinson cycle valve timing (as in the hybrids); more here.
- And an update on the upcoming plug-in hybrid BMW X5: the Concept X5 eDrive is to appear at the New York Motor Show, nearer finished-spec. This latest iteration delivers a range of 20-odd mile/30km and up to 75mph in all-electric mode, returning over 74.3mpg on the evened-out EU test cycle; it has BMW’s twin-turbo four-cylinder petrol engine (245hp) plus a 70kW/90hp e-motor, and lithium-ion batteries. There are selectable driving modes, with ‘intelligent hybrid drive’, pure electric ‘max eDrive’, and ‘battery save’, and it’s now all-wheel drive, with the xDrive system channelling torque to both axles. And in Eco Pro driving mode, a ‘proactive driving assistant’ works with the sat nav to optimise route profile, given speed restrictions and traffic conditions, which also feed into the range calculations. The nav system shows charging points, and the iDrive OS includes data on charging times, operating status, charge level efficiency history and more; this can be downloaded to a smartphone, with the ConnectedDrive Remote app allowing for remote charge programming and activation plus pre-heating or cooling of the cabin. BMW’s also going to offer a high-voltage Wallbox charger, which can synch with home energy management systems, solar panels and soforth. More details, pics plus press release posted here.
- And… Audi’s teaming up with Chinese auto-maker FAW to launch the A6 e-tron plug-in hybrid in China. It’ll be locally-built at the FAW-Volkswagen plant in Foshan, based on the LWB A6: a 50km range is promised. Audi already sells hybrid (non-plug-in) versions of the Q5, A6 and A8 L in China, with the A3 e-tron plug-in on its way there.
- Not to be left out, Volvo is planning hybrid and pure-electric versions of the new XC90 SUV, reports Autocar, with everything in between including a model with the KERS-style flywheel.
- Hyundai has improved the longevity of lithium-sulphur batteries, thought to offer greater energy density than Li-ion; paper presented at the SAE World Congress, links and lowdown here.
- More battery news: Dongfeng Motors has taken delivery of new-generation lithium-ion polymer batteries from supplier Electrovaya, reports Green Car Congress.
- The ‘MotorBrain’ project – Siemens, Infineon, TU Dresden and ZF Friedrichshafen – has come up with a small, light e-motor which needs no rare earth metals. More here.
- Tobacco is a good potential source of bioethanol, and could be grown in Spain (where the traditional tobacco-growing market has collapsed); more here.