2013 Luxo-Sport Sedans, Leaf, Rav4 EV & More

$46K Sport Sedan Shootout

The winner is no surprise, but 2nd place might be.

 

Hurricane Sandy and CNG fueled vehicles

 

2013 Nissan Leaf

First Look:

 

UK Review:

 

2013 Toyota Rav4 EV (CA only for now)

Translogic test drive w/Toyota

 

A full review:

 

One Year Driving the Nissan Leaf

For those seriously interested in this or other all-electric vehicles

(from description: “My good friend Chris Emerson has driven a Nissan Leaf for the last year, and we spent an afternoon chatting about his experiences driving an electric vehicle. Friendly warning that this is a long video, but Chris is a pretty insightful guy. If you’ve been curious about EV’s in general (and the Leaf specifically) this is a pretty in-depth look at what owning one in Los Angeles is like”)

 

I hope to blog more often in the near future, enjoy these videos for now. 🙂 -Benji

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Electric car double-whammy!

2013 Automobile of the Year: Tesla Model S

Read more: http://www.automobilemag.com/features/awards/1301_2013_automobile_of_the_year_tesla_model_s/viewall.html#ixzz2C3VVyBHY

 

2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S

Shocking Winner: Proof Positive that America Can Still Make (Great) Things

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/car/1301_2013_motor_trend_car_of_the_year_tesla_model_s/viewall.html#ixzz2C3Vg8zhP

2012 Tesla Model S: Most Important New Car Since Ford Model T?

I have to say YES! Tesla started over in designing a car, by designing it based on it being electric powered rather than combustion engine powered.

(from Green Car Reports greencarreports.com)

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1079995_2012-tesla-model-s-most-important-new-car-since-ford-model-t

ImageTesla Model S Alpha build

2013 Tesla Model S – The Quickest Sedan in America

This is where electric cars can and will go!

In the vid he states this car is $90K and up, however it is available with 3 different battery sizes/ranges and a couple performance levels along with a “signature” model, (similar to a “limited” car). Pricing actually starts at $50K (before tax breaks) for the 40 kWh batt/160 mile range, 60 kWh/230 range $60K, 85 kWh/300 range $70K and on up to about $100K.

The thing to understand about electric cars is that all of your torque is available from 0RPMs on up. Electrics are powered by a motor not an engine. If you’ve ever driven a hybrid gas/electric car in “EV” mode, where you start off using only the electric motor, you really don’t get much power, this is because the electric motor in a hybrid vehicle is only supplementing the gas engine, it is not the main power of the car. I.E.: the ’12 Toyota Prius, the gas engine has 98 hp, while the electric motor has 36 hp*, so in EV mode you have 36 hp available. In power mode 134 hp using both gas & electric.

The high-end version of this car is available now, more models due out by end of this year. For more info., here’s Tesla’s website: http://www.teslamotors.com/

Here’s a direct link to the options/pricing page: http://www.teslamotors.com/models/options

(Look for more posts about electrics/hybrids/other alternative-powered vehicles. …I’ve been waiting many years for electric cars and solar energy to really catch on.)

(I have some news posts I wanted to post last week but was having difficulty learning how to use WordPress, so look for more news this week.)

*Note: (The Prius’s electric motor has 36 actual hp, called “traction battery” on toyota’s website, they claim the “electric motor” has 80 hp, but this is only on paper, besides, the hybrid hp rating is 134…98+80 does not =134.)

Car and Driver tests the 2013 Honda Accord sport model w/manual

Since I just wrote about a 4-door sport model sedan (’12 Camry SE), here’s Car & Driver’s test review of the new ’13 Honda Accord sport model, this one has 4 cyl. & 6-speed manual shifter.

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2013-honda-accord-four-cylinder-manual-test-review/

(I’ll post more links in future on new manual shifter cars, as I prefer this over automatics.)

(snapshot from my Flipboard page as viewed on my iPad):

Today’s drive: 2012 Toyota Camry SE

Aside

I drove a brand new ’12 Toyota Camry SE today. I’m not much into sedans, however, if you are in the market for a new sedan, I would recommend checking out and test driving a Toyota Camry SE (there are no changes for ’13 models), Over the last year, I have driven all the redesigned ’12 Camry models (base, LE, SE, XLE), and the SE is really the only one I can say this about. It is available with a 4 or 6 cylinder engine (I’ve driven both). This one had the 4, and while the 6 is more peppy, they paired their 2.5l 4 with a 6-speed auto tranny which turns out to be a good combination, I had no trouble getting through intersections or passing if I needed to be quick. I’ve not tried it, but you can put the transmission in “S” mode where you can tell it when to shift, via paddle shifters in the steering wheel. I just told someone that I find most seats in toyotas uncomfortable, however, the driver’s seat in this model, 8-way power adjustable (including lumbar), was actually comfortable, made of both “leather” and cloth (new for ’12). For an MSRP (before dealer add-ons) just under $25K (includes carpeted mats ($299), 8-way power adj. driver’s seat ($440), no other options, power windows, etc. are standard w/SE), in that price range it’s a pretty ok driver’s car, pretty good road feel/responsiveness. The base audio in this car has decent sound, there’s a sub and it sounds like it’s optimized. I was able to hook up my iphone 5 via USB, it took over control of my ipod (touchscreen display), and I was able to play pandora via the iphone, and, even though it doesn’t have apps, it showed the song titles and such, as if it was an ipod. I was also able to hear car talk via my car talk app, although the display looked like iPod pause mode. (I have had difficulty with other audio units, more on that some other time). It also has volume controls and such in the steering wheel, along with controls for your phone connected via bluetooth (which I have not tried). It seems roomy and such, but I just drive the cars and don’t have time to really go through them and check the cargo area and spare and all that. So that’s about it. If you have questions, pleas add a comment, and I may be able to answer or I’ll let you know if I can’t. …I’m not advertising, I’m not a salesman, I just drive for a dealership (new toyotas and used everything), and thought I’d share my thoughts. That’s my driver’s point of view, in a nutshell.