For anyone interested in getting an more environmentally friendly version of Porsche’s family SUV, the 2015 Cayenne S E Hybrid is set to debut at the Paris Auto Show later this year. While this car isn’t that much different than the current hybrid version of the Cayenne, it does come with some nice improvements that car owners will enjoy.
What it has to Offer
While very similar to the hybrid, the Cayenne S E Hybrid comes equipped with a powerful 10.8 Kwh battery that can be charged for all-electric driving. This pack is composed from powerful lithium-ion batteries, and is capable of moving the vehicle between 11 and 22 miles on a charge according to Porsche. Of course this is just an estimate, but it’s in the rough ballpark that you should expect from the vehicle.
This might not sound like a very long distance, but for some people 22 miles could cover their daily commute to and from work. Even if the electric motor doesn’t get you where you need to go you can enjoy improved mileage and rely on the gasoline-engine to finish the rest of the trip.
Not only does this SUV let you drive completely on electric power, it also adds a bit more power to the vehicle in general. The new electric motor used in this unit puts out 95 HP or 70 KW of power. This is a pretty decent increase from the 47 HP or 34 KW of power supplied by the engine in the hybrid. When paired with the 3.0 liter supercharged V6 you get a vehicle that has 416 HP overall and that can go from 0 to 60 in just 5.4 seconds.
In order to get your hands on one of these advanced hybrids you’ll have to hand over $76,400, plus a destination charge of 995. It’s still kind of hard justifying this expense when you look at the seemingly lower price tag of the Tesla X that has a far superior electric range, but for many owners who want to own Porsche’s the purchase will make sense.
Whether or not the vehicle seems practical for everyday situations, it’s great looking and offers an impressive level of performance. Porsche doesn’t expect to sell a huge number of these units, but even the ones they do sell will help make electric vehicles more mainstream.
Cars.com recently put together a list of the top 15 most worry-free vehicles that you can own today, and not surprisingly the top three models on that list were all created by Lexus. Toyota and Lexus in general are committed to creating high quality vehicles and tests like these just show that off even more.
Cars.com took the time to look into the popular vehicles that are sold in high numbers today. They focused on the cars that real drivers are riding around in while staying away from showroom models or special editions that weren’t produced in great numbers. That means that you get numbers that actually mean something. These Lexus vehicles are being tested by many different drivers and most of them are happy with what they are seeing.
The top three vehicles on the list are in order from first place to third as follows. The RX 450 hybrid crossover, the ES 350 sedan and the RX 350 crossover. It is surprising that the RX 450 hybrid vehicle made it to the top of the list since it relies on hybrid technology, but it appears that drivers are very satisfied with its performance and aren’t running into many issues at all. The ES 350 is the most popular Lexus vehicle sold today and it’s a sedan that family’s or professionals can really rely on.
On top of taking the top three spots Lexus also has a car at number 13 on the list giving them four different models that are all considered some of the most reliable vehicles out on the road today.
Used car buyers know to trust Lexus vehicles and for this reason many Lexus models have a high resale value. They are sold for more money with higher miles because drivers know that they will keep on going. If you decide that you want to buy a Lexus model you can expect to get more of your money back when you are ready to part with it eventually.
Another benefit of owning a Lexus is that the maintenance is pretty affordable for a luxury vehicle. Problems aren’t very common and you can expect to be able to keep the car in good running condition without having to spend a lot of money on it.
Toyota Takes Even More Spots
If you aren’t interested in a luxury vehicle and would rather have something more standard, Toyota also has quite a few spots on the list, six in fact. They landed spots for the Sequoia SUV both versions of the Camry, the Avalon and a few other models.
Between Toyota and Lexus the automaker took 10 of the 15 spots for carefree vehicles. That’s pretty impressive from any way that you look at it. If your in the market for a more reliable vehicle, consider one of the options from Toyota or Lexus, they really do have a lot to offer, even if they aren’t the most exciting vehicles around.
The 2015 Toyota Sienna has undergone some pretty serious changes for just being a model refresh. While it may look nearly unchanged on the outside, when you climb inside the cab it’s easy to see all of the hard work that Toyota has put into the latest iteration of their family hauler.
Nearly Unchanged Appearance
If you were hoping for a completely revamped look for the 2015 Sienna you’ll be disappointed, because it looks very similar to the 2014 edition. So similar in fact, that it took me a couple minutes of studying to pick out the differences between the two versions. You’ll notice that the LED lights are slimmer on the 2015 model, and you now have LED accents around the lights. Other than that you won’t see much difference between the two vehicles.
Massive Interior Overhaul
While Toyota decided not to tamper with success with their exterior styling, they knew they had some ground to cover in the interior department. Critics have long been claiming that the Sienna cabin isn’t quite as luxurious as some of its competitors. The 2015 remodel solves most of those issues marvelously. More durable and classy plastics are used throughout the cabin, and padded trim has been added to the tops of the doors. The dash is adorned with stitched faux leather or you can opt for wood trim for an even classier look.
With the interior overhaul the Sienna goes from trailing its competitors a bit to leading out in front. They have arguably one of the nicest interiors available in the minivan segment in the 2015 year, and that’s pretty important when it comes to a vehicle most families will spend a significant amount of time in.
Improved Console Layout
Extending your arms while trying to reach buttons is never fun while driving down the freeway, and the 2015 Sienna offers a more comfortable layout than ever before. Many of the controls have been moved closer to the driver, and they are compacted into a more orderly cluster that not only makes the whole interior look more well-laid out, but also makes changing stations on the radio or adjusting the interior temperature more comfortable.
Added Standard Features
When you pick up the 2015 Sienna there are more standard features that everyone can look forward to, without worrying about paying expensive added feature costs. It comes with the touchscreen Entune media system, a rear-backup camera and a powerful three-zone automatic climate control system to ensure that everyone remains comfortable throughout the trip.
On top of these three features safety also gets a boost in the Sienna, with blind spot monitor systems becoming a standard feature. The side curtain airbags also provide 30 percent more coverage than before.
Same Powertrains but Enhanced Ride Quality
Toyota didn’t make any changes to the powertrains being used in the Sienna, but they did make some changes to the suspension for the better. 142 spot welds were added around the suspension of the vehicle making it much more rigid than before. This allowed engineers to change up other aspects of the suspension making it smoother and more comfortable. The end-result is a very comfortable ride, that is less bouncy and more grounded than before.
Between all the changes the 2015 Toyota Sienna is more attractive to ride in, more comfortable, more responsive and safer, while maintaining all its positive features and design qualities. There isn’t much to complain about and a lot to look forward to.
Critics have already been quite favorable when describing the Audi A3, but that wasn’t enough to persuade some consumers this automatic-only car was worth buying. The A3 was originally designed to only come with the Audi S-Tronic dual-clutch setup, rather than a true manual and that’s the way it still is, but it’s possible Audi is about to change that.
Audi of America’s Decision
During an interview with Scott Keogh, the Audi of America President, he first went over the difficulty and increase in cost when considering adding in the manual transmission to the A3. After going over those figures he went on to say that the company is looking very closely at adding a manual version to the A3 lineup.
While this isn’t a guaranteed yes, it’s a pretty strong maybe, and that’s pretty exciting. The added car could help encourage new users to try out the A3 and learn just what a nice car it is.
A Dual Clutch that’s Easy to Live With
Even if Audi decides that they never want to go through the trouble of adding a manual to the A3, there really isn’t much to complain about with this vehicle. Volkswagen and Audi in general know how to make a nice smooth dual clutch setup. Whether you want to shift through the gears yourself or let the vehicle handle it all on its own, things are pretty seamless and enjoyable.
A Possible Sedan Version of the RS 3
The A3 is a pretty exciting car, but Audi’s got a more potent member of the lineup sitting overseas that Americans can’t touch, the RS 3. With five cylinders of massive power this little sedan’s exhilarating to say the least, but up until now there has been no word that it’s coming to the states in any form. In that same interview with Keogh he neither confirmed or denied it would be coming to the states, but he made several promising comments suggesting that it would show up in sedan form.
It seems that the A3 lineup is likely to expand over time in America, as long as it keeps performing well and people like it enough. No additions are yet confirmed for the American lineup, but most consumers would be safe to expect future expansions.
Since the launch of the Porsche Macan critics and consumers have been going crazy for the pint-sized SUV. It offers a lot of the performance of a sports car, while offering a bit more room for comfortable riding. Now there’s word that Porsche is considering a Macan S E-Hybrid addition. That means in the future consumers could purchase a Macan SUV that’s equipped with an electric motor, that offers even more power and that plugs into a wall to improve efficiency while doing all this.
The Expected Power Train
Julian Baumann, the executive of sales and marketing at Porsche, has made it clear that they haven’t made up their mind on creating a plugin Macan yet. However, if they do choose to go that route, it’s expected that the vehicle will rely on the powertrain that the plug-in Cayenne, and the plug-in Panamera rely on. It would likely be equipped with a 3.0 liter V6 that’s tied to an electric motor offering around 416 HP of peak power. That would certainly pack a punch in the compact Macan and it’s an exciting prospect.
Porsche is Heading Toward More Plugins
Porsche already has three different plugin hybrids and it’s likely they will be heading toward more in the future. They have the 918 Spyder, the Cayenne and the Panamera S E-Hybrid. Each of these vehicles is quite popular and offers an impressive level of power for their efficiency levels. They appeal to Americans and if Porsche believes that future plugins will also appeal they’re likely to add them on over time.
About Porsche’s Intelligent Performance Philosophy
Porsche is all about improving their vehicles, but they want to do so intelligently. That is why they have their ‘Intelligent Performance Philosophy’. Essentially they shoot to make all performance improvements on their existing vehicles by using new and more advanced automotive technologies. You won’t see them upping the size of their engines much and decreasing fuel efficiency, because that isn’t their style.
This is why Porsche is likely to add the Porsche Macan S E-Hybrid Plugin. They want to offer even more high-performance versions of their vehicle, but they want to do it without hurting efficiency much.
If you think a plugin style Macan is as great of an idea as we do make sure that Porsche hears your voice. There are plenty of proponents for this type of SUV, and it could be the next new development coming to consumers from Porsche.
The 2015 version of the VW Touareg doesn’t just offer aesthetic changes and updated features to Volkswagen fans. It also offers an alternative fuel choice. The latest version of the Touareg has a diesel fueled engine option for consumers to enjoy. This engine was swapped in for one of the more powerful gas options and is an exciting swap for enthusiasts looking to move away from gasoline.
The all-new diesel option offered to Touareg customers is a 3.0 liter clean diesel that produces 240 HP and gets 20 MPG in the city and 29 on the highway. This offers superior performance compared to the gasoline option that achieves 17 MPG in the city and 23 on the highway. The engine also offers a very impressive 262 lb.-ft. of torque allowing it to stand up nicely to the more powerful 280 HP gasoline version.
The diesel engine was put in place of the 262 HP 3.0 liter V6 gas-powered engine that used to be available on the Touareg. Volkswagen replaced the weaker of the two V6 engines available on the last iteration of the Touareg offering a comparable diesel instead. Now consumers can choose to get the economical diesel version or the slightly more powerful gasoline engine in either standard or performance trims.
Whether you want a basic trim package or a more feature-rich one Volkswagen has diesel enthusiasts covered. There are three different trim levels on the basic Toureg TDI Clean Diesel version offering nice perks like an advanced media system, rear heated seats, and a 360 degree area view camera as you climb up to the TDI Executive trim level. There is also the R-Line performance edition, and the X TDI rugged version that include a diesel engine option.
The latest offering is sure to attract proponents of alternative energy sources. It packs in some great new features, an attractive new styling and now the diesel power-train that so many consumers have become interested in.
Audi recently released the third generation of their TT sedan, and it most critics agree it’s a nice improvement upon older models. We’ll be covering the S trim level of the TT in this review which covers the more powerful engine offering, but the lower-powered versions are enjoyable to drive as well. Read on to learn what it has to offer, and why sports car enthusiasts are lining up to get one of their own (yeah it’s that good).
Well Appointed Interior
Audi’s are known for looking great inside and out and this one is no different. The Audi TT S is styled beautifully within. It features smooth leathery seats, with an attractive quilted pattern on each. Chrome accents and dark styling cues provide nice contrast throughout the vehicle, and thick stitching on all the cloth materials displays a high level of durability. The shifter, pedals as well as many other surfaces around the interior are accented by chrome. Riders can enjoy automatic climate control and easily adjust the temperature while viewing the figure right on the front of the vent, taking full advantage of interior space.
Fun Driving Mechanics
The Audi TT S drives better than many previous versions of the Audi TT. It provides ample power right when you need it. The steering wheel is responsive and feels quite grounded, although a bit lighter and less-connected than higher-up Audi models. Turns are executed crisply and the car is eager to blaze around sharp bends without losing traction.
The all-wheel drive system works very well, and drivers are capable of adjusting power from front to back depending on their preferences. The one thing most drivers enjoy about the Audi TT S is its high level of agility. It’s certainly light on its feet while providing just the right level of feedback to drivers.
The upgraded Audi TT S provides 306 HP and offers 280 lb.-ft. of torque at just 1800 RPM allowing it to accelerate rapidly. It comes equipped with a silky smooth six-speed automatic dual clutch. This sedan achieves a top speed of 155 MPH and offers more power than you would expect from a simple 4-cylinder.
Audi has made noticeable improvements on their latest version of the TT S. It’s one of the first versions that will satisfy most any sports car enthusiast. It handles superbly, packs plenty of power for most driving conditions and offers very attractive styling cues. If you’re after a practical sedan with plenty of sporty power, the 2015 TT S sedan could be just the thing.
Audi recently released information on their plans to start offering self-driving vehicles to the general public and just a week after that initial announcement they announced that they received the first autonomous vehicle permit in California. California announced back in May that they were adjusting regulations to allow autonomous vehicles to operate on state roads and those laws went into effect on Wednesday.
Plans for Autonomous Cars to the Public
Audi has already nearly perfected autonomous driving vehicles that operate up to 37 miles per hour. They plan on releasing this technology to the general public after a bit more real-world testing in California. Now that they have the permit they can get to work making sure that everything functions properly and consumers could see automatic driving features coming to their vehicles very soon.
California might seem a bit liberal for letting this automatic cars run free on state roads, but they have strict requirements tied to each of the vehicles allowed to drive around. For every autonomous vehicle driving out on the road, the company must have at least $5 million in insurance or surety bonds. The vehicle also needs to have a company representative on board at all times and each vehicle needs to be setup with a steering wheel and brakes giving the rider complete control if necessary.
Reducing Traffic Jams and Fender Benders
The advanced Audi A7 Traffic Jam Pilot model is designed to help riders navigate through slow traffic conditions that are particular unpleasant and dangerous to drive in. The vehicle will take control as long as you are going less than 37 MPH and can handle making all the decisions for you at these speeds safely. This is expected to make driving in those conditions safer.
Not Audi’s First License
Although it’s exciting that Audi snagged a license for testing in Cali, that’s not the first state they got the okay to work in. They already nabbed a license in Nevada as the first automaker to get an autonomous license there as well, although Google did beat them.
No word has been released about how Audi plans to release these features to the general public, but it’s likely that this technology will slowly makes its way into their lineup. It could be awhile until we see completely autonomous vehicles on the road, but that dream is looking more and more like a reality with companies getting on board all the time.
LAcarGUY is once again happy to run the Touchdown to a Cure event to benefit sufferers from Cystic Fibrosis in conjunction with the Pipeline to a Cure Foundation. Mike Sullivan (CEO) of LAcarGUY, has been a member of the Pipeline to a Cure board since its inception. Throughout football season the event donates thousands of dollars to this great non-profit cause, and helps raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis as well. If you would like to learn more about the event visit it here.
The Touchdown to a Cure Event
LAcarGUY is continuing their Touchdown to a Cure event this year and will be donating $300 for every touchdown that USC (The University of Southern California) scores this season. We’re off to a good start this season, but Pipeline to a Cure needs as much money as they can get to help with research costs. Follow along with our latest donations here, and even make one of your own if you like.
About Pipeline to a Cure
Pipeline to a Cure is a non-profit organization started in 2007 in homage to an exciting discovery about surfing CF patients. Children and adults alike suffering from Cystic Fibrosis were found to be much healthier if they were also regular surfers. After studying these patients, Australian researchers and Doctors realized that by inhaling salt water regularly the surfers were keeping their lungs moist and helping them eliminate mucus infected with bacteria more easily. Now nearly every CF patient uses a salt-water spray on a daily basis to improve their condition.
After that discovery Pipeline to a Cure was started and the organization has raised more than $2 million in research funding since then. You can rest assured that when you make a donation to the organization the majority of your money is going toward research because $0.92 of every dollar donated goes in the research fund.
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis is a debilitating genetic defect that creates thicker mucus in the lungs leading to trouble with lung health and digestion. It affects around 30,000 children and adults, and makes it difficult for their pancreas, digestive system and immune system to function properly. Additional research funding helps aid the goal of discovering a cure to this disease.
Toyota and Lexus are putting on the 2014 EMA Awards and by obtaining seats now you can make sure you’re there for the big night. Held in Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank California, this event takes time to honor stars and other media professionals putting together videos that make a difference to the environment.
October 18th is the date and the event is set to begin at 5PM in the Steven J. Ross theater. It starts with a reception, moves into a silent auction. After the auction the award ceremony begins at 6:30PM. When the awards are finished the night moves on to the luxurious gala dinner, put on by some of the area’s most talented chefs.
Throughout the night there will be live entertainment and plenty of chance for enjoyment while connecting with environmental proponents. The event’s a cocktail affair so make sure to dress up and get ready for some fun.
Each year the Environmental Media Awards honors a select group of people and 2014 will be no different. It’s set to honor James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Daniel Abasi , Joel Bach.
Members of the Pristine Seats Project, the Executive Producers of “Years of Living Dangerously” and the Fox Fall Eco-Casino Party are all being honored as well.
How to RSVP
If you’d like to be part of the 25th Environmental Media Awards RSVP here. Seats cost $500 a piece, but there are sponsor packages as well if you would like to give back more. Hurry and get your tickets now before the event fills up completely, and know that your money goes to a good cause.
How LAcarGUY is Involved?
Not only is Mike Sullivan a chairmember of the board at the Environmental Media Association and LAcarGUY a sponsor of the EMA’s, but the two organizations have come together to create a sustainable edible garden at Helen Bernstein High School. This lush garden setup is designed to provide fresh food and encourage children to learn more about gardening, sustainable living and healthy eating all at the same time.