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Hatchbacks

Volkswagen ID.3 Debuts As The Electric Golf We’ve Been Waiting For

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New Volkswagen ID.3 1st Edition, White

VW’s first-ever mass-production all-electric vehicle is an ideological successor to the original Beetle.

The Volkswagen ID.3 electric car is finally here, and it marks a new chapter for the VW brand.

As the first member of the German automaker’s new MEB family of electric vehicles, the ID.3 doesn’t stray too far from the concept that previewed, blending the Golf’s overall form with futuristic styling elements like a clean front end that omits a traditional grille.

Inside, the modern electric hatchback features Volkswagen’s latest technology, including a large floating infotainment screen and head-up display for the top ‘1st Max’ launch configuration.

Three different battery capacities will be available at launch, providing an electric range of 330 kilometers (205 miles), 420 kilometers (261 miles), and up to 550 kilometers (342 miles), respectively, based on the WLTP test cycle. Expect those figures to be lower under the U.S. EPA’s more stringent tests.

Re-charging is made easy thanks to 100 kW DC charging that can add up to 180 miles (290 km) of range in only 30 minutes.

With the ID.3, Volkswagen hopes to revolutionize the automotive industry like it did with the original Beetle decades ago. It’s an all-electric Golf by another name.

Interestingly, there are no plans to bring the car to the United States and Canada, where it would have been the perfect replacement for the e-Golf. North American buyers will have to wait until the ID Crozz electric crossover to arrive.

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Hatchbacks

Toyota Kicks Of Its EV Push With An Electric Minicar

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Toyota electric minicar

The tiny car is designed for driving in the city.

Long the king of hybrids, Toyota has been conspicuously absent from the EV segment. It hasn’t offered a fully-electric vehicles since the RAV4 EV in 2010, but that will soon change.

The Japanese automaker is getting ready to release a new range of battery-electric vehicles to take on the likes of Tesla.

The first of these vehicles will be the Ultra-Compact BEV, a tiny electric minicar mainly designed for city driving.

Measuring only 98 inches long, and with a top speed of only 37 mph (60 km/h) and a short but adequate driving range of 62 miles (100 km/h), it is perfectly suited for those who don’t drive long distances or carry a whole lot of stuff.

A commercial version of the Ultra-Compact BEV will also be offered, aimed at businesses and government organizations.

In other related news, Toyota has teamed up with Subaru to develop an all-electric SUV.

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Concept Car

Hyundai Veloster Grappler Is Ready For Off-Road Adventures

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Hyundai Veloster Grappler Concept

More than an off-road vehicle, it is also a “self-contained command center.”

Hyundai has transformed Veloster into a rugged all-terrain vehicle, calling its new creation the ‘Veloster Grappler’.

Slated for the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the Hyundai Veloster Grappler concept tackles the rugged outdoors with a higher ground clearance than the hatchback on which it is based, as well as steel-tube front and rear brush guards, knobby all-terrain tires, and extra LEDs for illuminating the trail.

The car’s fun factor is amplified by a custom vinyl exterior with a ghosted Hyundai-themed livery and a Borla cat-back exhaust system.

A roof-mounted Thule utility basket with a high-output lighting system from Baja Designs lets you carry more gear, while a removable solar panel from Goal Zero powers an an interior-mounted, all-electric portable power station for remote adventures.

Speaking of the interior, it is outfitted with Recaro seats, a roll cage, traction mats, the aforementioned Goal Zero portable power station, first aid and roadside kits, an oversized utility shovel, a Napier outdoor dome tent, Scosche Mounts, and Goal Zero crush lights.

The Hyundai Veloster Grappler showcases a combination of one-off customizations and accessories available for the regular Veloster.

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Fiat

Fiat Kills 500 And 500e In The United States

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2018 Fiat 500 hatchback, America

Ciao, little car. Your stay was fun while it lasted.

The Fiat 500 marked the Fiat brand’s return to the United States nearly 10 years ago, but sadly, it won’t be sticking around for another year.

Fiat has announced that both the gas-powered 500 and all-electric and 500e will be discontinued in the Land of the Free after the 2019 model year.

The small hatchback was a causality of the SUV craze, with sales collapsing by 44-percent in 2018 and by 38 percent in the first half of 2019. Even so, it is Italian marque’s most popular model in the country, accounting for nearly 35 percent of all sales.

Sales numbers for the 500e were not disclosed, but late FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne once asked customers to not buy the EV because the company lost money on each unit sold.

The departure of the Fiat 500 and 500e leaves the 500X crossover, 500L hatchback and 124 Spider as the only models in Fiat’s US lineup, but one wonders how long they will be around.

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