• Evolution of Hybrid Cars

    Rising in popularity in recent years, you could easily mistake hybrid cars as one the latest trend of mod cons to hit our roads! With cars such as Toyota Prius taking place in popular culture, it may surprise you to learn how long inventors have been exploring the idea of Hybrid cars. We are looking at the evolution of hybrid vehicles, in partnership with Go Green Leasing.

     1830s- Robert Anderson builds the first electric car

    The first ever electric vehicle was built and introduced between 1832-1839. Unlike other vehicles at the time Andersons invention did not run on literal horse power. Instead this four-wheeled electric carriage connected a motor to non-rechargeable power cells.

    1901- Ferdinand Porsche builds the first ever hybrid car

    The German automotive innovator creates the worlds first hybrid car in 1901. Named after the inventor, the Lorde-Porches Mixet hybrid combined an internal combustion engine with electric motors located in the wheel hubs.

    1913- The takeover of gasoline cars

    Gasoline- self-starter cars take over and dominate the automobile industry, while sales of electric and steam-powered cars drop in this period. This drop subsequently leads to a decline in hybrid innovation for 50 years.

    1969- The plug-in car arrives

    The late 60’s seen General Motors reveal several hybrids cars. The first vehicle revealed was the GM’s commuter XP512h which uses a gasoline/electric drivetrain. The company then went to rework the design and introduced the XP- 883 in 1969 with a two-cylinder engine and a plug that fit into a standard wall socket. The electric powered up to 16km after which gas engine would take over.

    1990- NiMH batteries charge up the market

    In 1967 the development of nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries began. The cells of hundreds of high-powered charge-discharge cycles. Thanks to the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) investing $90 million into the battery, the technology was later improved in the 80’s and was featured in electric and hybrid cars in the 90s.

    Modern day

    Not so long ago, hybrids were the reserve of environmentally conscious school run mums, people living or working under the London congestion charge, and taxi drivers looking to save a bit of money on fuel.

    However, with an ever-growing number of hybrids on the market, they are increasingly becoming a mainstream alternative to conventional petrol and diesel models. Hybrid is ditching the practical image and is slowly becoming the new cool kid on the block, with manufacturers such Mercedes, Mitsubishi and BMW releasing ground breaking models, the evolution of hybrid vehicles is set to keep breaking boundaries.

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  • Subaru BRZ review

    Subaru BRZ review

    The Subaru BRZ is one of the best kept secrets of the auotmotive world.

    Developed alongisde the near-identical Toyota GT86, it’s an affordable back-to-basics front
    engined, rear-wheel drive 2+2 sports coupe.

    For 2017, Subaru has given the evergreen BRZ a mid-life facelift, equipment upgrade and distilled the trim options down to just one – SE Lux.

    Subaru BRZ review

    The exterior design tweaks are subtle, apart from the old school aerodynamic wing at the rear. Elsewhere, there’s a new front bumper, LED headlights and 10-spoke 17-inch alloys.

    You can choose from five colours, though Subaru’s iconic WR (World Rally) Blue Pearl is surely the one to go for.

    Inside, a 4.2-inch LCD colour display is added to the instrument display, featuring such sporting essentials as a G-Force meter and braking gauge.

    Subaru BRZ review

    The leather steering wheel is now smaller and boasts audio controls, while plastics generally have been upgraded or replaced by leather, giving the cabin a more upmarket feel.

    The Alcantra and leather seats are more comfortable than ever (the driver’s seat has a six-way adjustment), while a 6.2-inch touchscreen has been added to the centre console, though sat nav is a £1,250 option.

    The infotainment system is not as hi-tech as the best of them, but it does the job and, of course, offers full connectivity.

    Subaru BRZ review

    Traditionalists will be pleased to note that the cockpit is still adorned with plenty of retro-feel knobs and toggle switches.

    The rear passenger seats are fitted with ISOFIX anchor points, but as with most 2+2s, they are
    almost totally useless. Better news in the boot where there’s 243 litres of space available – 1,270 with the rear seats folded flat.

    The 2017 Subaru BRZ is more driver focused than ever. Sadly, there’s no extra power for the 2.0-
    litre 200PS ‘Boxer’ petrol engine, but it is more responsive, it still sounds suitably throaty and CO2 emissions are slightly lower.

    Subaru BRZ review

    Elsewhere, Subaru’s engineers have made various changes (to the steering, suspension, dampers and
    brakes) to tweak the driving dynamics and make the BRZ even sharper than before.

    Priced from £26,050, the BRZ is one of the most entertaining cars you’ll find for that money.

    The chassis is better than ever and it’s enormous fun on flowing country roads. Agile and engaging, it’s helped by a slick six-speed short-throw manual gearbox and it feels totally
    planted.

    Subaru BRZ review

    For the record, the BRZ is capable of 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds (but feels faster) and it tops out at 140mph. Fuel economy is a claimed 36.2mpg (and it not far off that in the real world), while CO2 emissions are a very average 180g/km.

    But here’s the thing. The BRZ is also now available with automatic transmission – and it’s a bit of a revelation.

    Subaru BRZ review

    It may sounds like sacrilege in a sports car package like this, but the auto box slams through the gears pretty well – even producing the odd pop on down-changes, allowing you to concentrate on the driving. The engine even sounds more sporty.

    Verdict: The new, improved Subaru BRZ is better than ever. With a mild makeover inside and out, plus enhanced driving dynamics, it has to be one of the best-value, most entertaining sports cars
    on the market – and it still looks just as cool.

    Review by Gareth Herincx

    Subaru BRZ review

    The post Subaru BRZ review appeared first on Automotive Blog.

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  • Best Cars to Lease in 2017

    Leasing a car is one of the most flexible finance options, as it allows you to change your car every 3-4 years. If you enjoy driving a new car, now is a great time to lease, as from sweet city cars to cool cabriolets, 2017 brings us a variety of amazing deals.

    Mercedes E-Class Saloon

    Are you searching for a saloon? Look no further! Perhaps the most popular lease car in the saloon market is the classy and comfortable E-Class. This marvellous Mercedes saloon combines supreme interior comfort with a strong and assertive stance. Lovely lines sweep the sides of this vehicle and innovative technology, such as Mercedes Connect, takes pride of place inside the cabin.

    mercede e-class 2017

    mercede e-class 2017

    Toyota Aygo City Car

    Perhaps you’re after a savvy city car? The 2017 Toyota Aygo might be small and sweet, but don’t underestimate the power in the practicality of this fun and funky city slicker. If you love to stay informed and entertained on the go, you will love the infotainment system on offer in the Aygo. Fantastic features extend to the driving position of this vehicle, with adjustable steering wheel and driver’s seat, enabling you to create perfect comfort.

    Toyota aygo

    Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet

    Summer is fast approaching, so why not drop the top and stay cool in a Cabriolet? If you love the look of this vehicle, you will be amazed by the AMG lines, sporting wider wheel arches and excellent exhaust pipes. Step inside the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet and you will find that keeps its sleek even with the inclusion of four seats, so we can enjoy practicality as well as style in this cabriolet. Top technology fills the interior of this vehicle and seats standard sport seats are so comfortable. Those of us who love a little style will be pleased to know that 2017 brings us some supreme C-Class Cabriolet lease deals.

    BMW i3

    If the futuristic feel of the electric car excites you, you will love the all-electric 2017 BMW i3. Power and practicality is not compromised for sustainability in this BMW i3. Proudly, BMW boasts a cool combination of zero emissions and a 0 to 62 mph time of just 7.3 seconds in the BMW i3. The BMW i3 can also travel up to a total of 206 miles on a single charge. The interior is lovely and light, carefully crafted from high strength carbon, an amazing material which is utilised to create passenger safety.

    bmw i3

    Bmw i3

    Range Rover Evoque

    Spacious SUV’s are sought after by many and we’re in luck, as 2017 offers excellent Range Rover Evoque lease deals. Drivers of this compact SUV love the generous and comfortable cabin, with height above your head and space at the sides. As well as ultimate upgrades to the interior, drivers of the 2017 Evoque also enjoy excellent engine efficiency with the introduction of the new family of diesel engines. So if you love the look of these stylish SUV’s, then why not check out the Range Rover Evoque lease deals on offer at All Car Leasing.

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  • Lexus Success Story

    The Reasons for Lexus’ Growing Success and Popularity

    In recent times, Lexus has become Japan’s largest-selling make of premium cars and established themselves as pioneers in the luxury car sector. The luxury vehicle division of Toyota was first developed in the early 1980’s as a secret project to build the world’s best car, but they are now one of the most recognisable and successful automobile manufacturers around.

    In fact, Lexus led the U.S luxury car market for an impressive 11 straight years before a Tsunami and an earthquake hit production in 2011. After falling behind Mercedes-Benz and BMW, they now are clawing their way back and recently posted a global sales record in 2016 and their fourth consecutive record year of sales.

    Reasons for Success

    So, what can be attributed to this success? One of the main reasons is that they have managed to find great success in the United States – a major consumer in the luxury car market. Lexus has always struggled to replicate this success in Europe, largely due to the fact that the European market as not as receptive to “new” brands as other areas of the world.

    Another key reason is the fact that their vehicles are known to be extremely reliable, solid and well-engineered – this makes them a great choice for long-term ownership, which is an important factor for consumers when purchasing high-end automobiles. This also makes them the logical and intelligent purchase to make for any motorists in the market for this kind of vehicle, with specialist suppliers like RRG Group being the best place to turn.

    Hybrid Technology

    Lexus has also manufactured a handful of hybrid vehicles in recent years. This has made them more popular throughout the world as there is a shift in attitude towards eco-friendly driving, but particularly in Europe where they have previously struggled to sell. This is not too much of a surprise, as their parent company Toyota are famed for being world leaders in hybrid technology. As a result, hybrid Lexus cars combine the strengths of petrol engines with all the benefits of electric power.

    This success for the Japanese manufacturer only looks set to continue, as they are growing in popularity around the world whilst also maintaining their image in the United States. Essentially, their success can be attributed to their core values being inline with that of a modern day consumer. They are a brand about innovation, reliability, technology and eco-friendly motoring whilst also maintaining a luxury performance and sleek design.

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  • Toyota’s UK vote of confidence

    Toyota has announced that it will invest a further £240 million in its plant at Burnaston in Derbyshire.

    Starting this year, the facility will be upgraded with new equipment, technologies and systems so that it can produce future vehicles using the new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform.

    By 2020, the majority of Toyota’s models will be built using TNGA platforms which already underpin the new Prius and the all-new C-HR crossover, which is built in Turkey.

    “Our investment demonstrates that, as a company, we are doing all we can to raise the competitiveness of our Burnaston plant in Derbyshire,” said Dr Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe.

    “Continued tariff-and-barrier free market access between the UK and Europe that is predictable and uncomplicated will be vital for future success.”

    Toyota has been making cars in the UK since 1992 and the Burnaston factory employs about 2,500 people.

    The Avensis, Auris and Auris Hybrid are currently produced at the site. In 2015, 239,728 British-built Toyota cars were manufactured at the giant plant.

    The post Toyota’s UK vote of confidence appeared first on Automotive Blog.

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