BMW and MINI electric kids car race

Last week we took you to the dog-eat-dog world of radio controlled car racing, with on-board footage and video race report, as organised by The Racing Bug. All fine and fun, but wouldn’t you rather actually be in the car, racing your opponents wheel to wheel for real? Yes, we thought so too, so we [...]

YW electric Grand Prix gets underway

Last week we took you to the dog-eat-dog world of radio controlled car racing, with on-board footage and video race report, as organised by The Racing Bug. All fine and fun, but wouldn’t you rather actually be in the car, racing your opponents wheel to wheel for real? Yes, we thought so too, so we took the electric BMW and MINI cars we had on loan out for a thrashing, to see which came out on top. We had to enlist our youngest ever road testers due to the diminutive interiors. So which car was fastest, which one handled better, which one triumphed in the desirability stakes? There was only one way to find out: standby for the first ever YW Electric Grand Prix !



(more…)

Tagged with:
 

BMW and MINI launch electric kids car range

Great gift idea: buy the kids their own electric cars With Christmas knocking on our doors next month we thought it was time to consider what the kiddies out there might want to find around the tree. iPad, no – too young, Playstation – nah, too annoying. Electric car – yeah, just the ticket for [...]

MINI and BMW electric kids cars - with adult helmet to show scale

Great gift idea: buy the kids their own electric cars

With Christmas knocking on our doors next month we thought it was time to consider what the kiddies out there might want to find around the tree. iPad, no – too young, Playstation – nah, too annoying. Electric car – yeah, just the ticket for a few laps of the tree and drive!

Bring on the nice people at BMW and MINI who lent us some samples to play with. First up is a gorgeous electric MINI Cooper S convertible miniature; yours for a mere 249 Euros from www.mini.com/shop or 129 Euros in pedal car form. This deep metallic blue micro car is aimed at the 3-5 year old in your litter, comes with electric rechargeable pack and not much else. Unfortunately our particular sample got damaged en route, note to Santa: pack your sleigh a bit better pleeeeze. So ignore the crack on the rear left of the car, it certainly didn’t stop us bringing you this extreme car test.


[Gallery not found]
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

Lexus CT200h – We drive this latest hybrid only model

Lexus launch the CT200h as a hybrid only model You are surfing the net for your next car: you need something small and efficient, environmentally proficient, yet sporty and luxurious to boot. Lexus claim to have filled this spot with their CT200h. Launched as a hybrid only, this mid-sized 5 door hatch wants to be [...]

Lexus CT200h - We drive this latest hybrid

Lexus launch the CT200h as a hybrid only model

You are surfing the net for your next car: you need something small and efficient, environmentally proficient, yet sporty and luxurious to boot. Lexus claim to have filled this spot with their CT200h. Launched as a hybrid only, this mid-sized 5 door hatch wants to be a sports car too. Warm-hatch would be a more accurate description, but with many positive qualities. Our top tester Timtim left the virtual world to taste the little Lexus for us.



I’m in Chantilly, near Paris; capital of the horse according to the local tourist flyer I’ve stumbled on in my hotel room. Outside the Mont Royal Hotel a cluster of new Lexus’s await testers from around the globe. Without a moment’s hesitation I pick a golden yellow sample. Hey, don’t want to disappoint the YW office, although to be honest it looks most exciting in white! All the engine options are identical so there’s no squabble with my scribbling brethren for the horniest lump in the beast. In fact by the sound of it none of them come with engines at all! As journo’s hit the engine start button and saunter off on an exploratory loop there’s a barrage of, err nothing, discreetly interrupted by tyre on tarmac and a few tweeting birds (the real kind). Rather than contemplating the deafening silence (what a stupid, though familiar expression) I’m watching the instruments. I’ve hit the start button and am only convinced that I’m up and running by the “Lexus Hybrid Drive” welcome screen as the instruments light up. I grab the chrome faced, switch sized gear lever. There’s only R, N, D and the more mysterious B to choose from. D will do, B is for user selected regenerative braking, and release the anachronistic foot brake. Shouldn’t the “P” switch below gear lever just double up as an electric foot/handbrake?


[Gallery not found]
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

Paris Motor Show 2010 – Audi e-tron Spyder Concept

This is not a just convertible e-tron, but a whole reconfiguration into a plug-in hybrid Look over to the left of the Audi Quattro Concept on the Audi stand and you’ll notice, what at first glance looks like the convertible version. A natural assumption when you see the similar nose, waistline and short overhangs of [...]

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Audi e-tron Spyder Concept

This is not a just convertible e-tron, but a whole reconfiguration into a plug-in hybrid

Look over to the left of the Audi Quattro Concept on the Audi stand and you’ll notice, what at first glance looks like the convertible version. A natural assumption when you see the similar nose, waistline and short overhangs of this silver spider. Audi are demonstrating and evolving their new design language, which started with the A5 coupe and it’s concept predecessor the Nuvolari quattro. Look under the striking silver skin and that’s where the similarities end. This Audi e-tron also looks just like an open air follow up to the e-tron supercar shown at the Geneva Show in March. The pivotal word in Audi’s description though is “hybrid”. Whereas the original e-tron was a pure electric car, this iteration is powered by Audi’s highly efficient new 3.0 TDi engine. Audi’s Le Mans success and everyone’s experience of driving many highly desirable cars powered by diesel makes this not such an unlikely powertrain. Here we are looking at the immediate future of sportscars; able to deliver shattering performance and still return favourable fuel consumption and emissions. Porsche got there first with the 918 Spyder concept and the rest of the world will be following along shortly. Sporting 600 miles+ range, 128 mpg and 59 g/km, Audi’s e-tron Spyder is not to be sniffed at! Combining the torque from TDi and front drive electric motors gives the concept massive torque, controllable in Quattro fashion. 1,002 Nm of torque should do rather nicely thank you.


[Gallery not found]
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

Paris Motor Show 2010 – Fisker Karma ES

Fisker Karma ES show their production version It’s been sometime coming, but Fisker finally showed a production version of their Karma ES. This plug-in hybrid is a full size 4 door saloon car with luxurious and sporty aspirations. That a new startup company should aim to be the first manufacturer to fill this sector of [...]

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Fisker Karma ES, production version

Fisker Karma ES show their production version

It’s been sometime coming, but Fisker finally showed a production version of their Karma ES. This plug-in hybrid is a full size 4 door saloon car with luxurious and sporty aspirations. That a new startup company should aim to be the first manufacturer to fill this sector of the market is staggering, when you see how many hurdles there are to pass. Just building a new factory for a conventional combustion engine car is a major undertaking. Even mighty Toyota are only just sorting out a plug-in hybrid version of their Prius, and the newly launched Lexus CT200h is a conventional hybrid. GM meanwhile are rushing to the market with their Chevy Volt and Opel Ampera plug-in hybrid, but in the economy/mid size market. Certainly no-one offers a fully integrated solar panel roof and luxury interior. We wish them luck, but wonder how they’ll reach their projected 100,000 car per year target…


[Gallery not found]
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

Paris Motor Show – Exagon Furtive eGT electric sportscar

France suprises with launch of new electric sportscar by Exagon Motors Most major motor shows throw up the odd surprise new car manufacturer. Often, resurrections of past iconic brands, Geneva delivered with the re-emergence of the Hispano-Suiza badge. Paris on the other hand, revealed a totally new name in Exagon Motors. Based in Magny-Cours, France, [...]

Paris Motor Show - Exagon Motors Furtive eGT

France suprises with launch of new electric sportscar by Exagon Motors

Most major motor shows throw up the odd surprise new car manufacturer. Often, resurrections of past iconic brands, Geneva delivered with the re-emergence of the Hispano-Suiza badge. Paris on the other hand, revealed a totally new name in Exagon Motors. Based in Magny-Cours, France, this new manufacturer emerges from the embryonic electric motor racing circus. Appropriately, they launched an electric sportscar, the Exagon Furtive eGT, with ambitious range and performance claims. Unusually, they offer pure electric drive, or an additional range-extender combustion engine in their 2+2 seater. They claim considerable technical support from their suppliers Siemens (motors) and Saft (Li-ion cells) and advanced technology.

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Exagon Furtive eGT

When you’ve never heard of a brand and come across it in a show, your first instinct is to judge it on looks alone. On this score, we found the profile view we first glimpsed rather alluring and competent, if not exactly visually challenging. The car rotated on its turntable to reveal its rump. Again elegant, exciting but unassuming, immediately digestible. But when the nose, from front ¾ swivelled into view, we found the design lost it’s integrity. Character in a car is welcome and distinguishes one from another, but we don’t think they have pulled it off with the snout.

Go back only a couple of years and a startup like this would be offering you a mouthwatering performance from a highly tuned mid-mounted V6, with fuel consumption to match. Now if it isn’t hybrid or pure-electric you’ll be wondering what planet they lived on. How times have changed…


[Gallery not found]
(more…)

Paris Motor Show – Jaguar C-X75 gas turbine hybrid electric supercar

Jaguar wow press and public with a daring hybrid supercar concept built to celebrate their 75th year. Running gas turbines in road cars is not a new idea. Think back to the 50′s-60′s when Chrysler ran a fleet of turbine cars, and BRM fielded a Le Mans racer. These were short lived experimental projects that [...]

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Jaguar C-X75


Jaguar wow press and public with a daring hybrid supercar concept built to celebrate their 75th year.

Running gas turbines in road cars is not a new idea. Think back to the 50′s-60′s when Chrysler ran a fleet of turbine cars, and BRM fielded a Le Mans racer. These were short lived experimental projects that followed the motor show dream concepts of the time. Interesting ideas but flawed in many ways and connected mechanically to the drivetrain. Using gas turbines to generate electricity for electric drive motors solves the immediate problem of reducing the phenomenal RPM and throttling of a turbine down to the low rotation needed for your wheels and tyres. It also allows the turbine to run at optimum speed for the efficiency that eluded earlier iterations. If Jaguar have solved the remaining problems of heat and emissions, then we have the recipe for an interesting vehicle. 4 wheel drive, infinitely controllable for traction and yaw, electric drive supplemented by turbine generators, bring it on Jaguar. Lets hope this is not just pie in the sky and points the way to a new and exciting future for supercars.

Enough of the mechanics, this is a concept and concepts need to impress as well as show the way forward. Raiding the past to guarantee the pedigree of the brand is normal and acceptable, copying elements blindly to make life easy is plain tacky. Fortunately this concept walks the tightrope adeptly between cool and kitsch, looking forward whilst recalling past icons. Deliberate evocations of the glorious XJ13 present in the classic-yacht boat tail work well. It’s not all plain sailing though, as the nose needs to incorporate latest Jag styling cues. Forcing an upright squarish mouth onto an otherwise sleek flowing shape seems brutish and doesn’t integrate as well as the beautiful tapering tail.

Rather than verbally perambulate endlessly on design matters we encourage you to peruse the pics and judge for yourselves as this is inevitably a question of personal taste. On balance though we’ll give it an enthusiastic thumbs up!


[Gallery not found]
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2010 – Supercar gallery

Yellowwheels presents a supercar gallery from the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed Goodwood FoS is a fabulous feast of motoring extravaganza, with vehicles of all ages, sizes and types wanging it up the Earl of March’s garden path. Modern F1 cars mix with historic Le Mans cars, motocycles, legendary Grand Prix cars and beautiful, sometimes [...]

Ferrari 599 GTO at 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Yellowwheels presents a supercar gallery from the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Goodwood FoS is a fabulous feast of motoring extravaganza, with vehicles of all ages, sizes and types wanging it up the Earl of March’s garden path. Modern F1 cars mix with historic Le Mans cars, motocycles, legendary Grand Prix cars and beautiful, sometimes bizarre classics. But we were drawn to the fleet of immaculate and outrageous supercars assembled for the Sunday Times Supercar run up the hill. Many of these have not been seen in action before; just glimpsed in motorshow reports and the spreads of the glossies.


[Gallery not found]
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

Mercedes reveal AMG E-Cell electric wundercar

Electric Mercedes SLS scheduled for limited production run AMG E-Cell badged but originating at Mercedes’ Norwegian establishment, this wunder-electro-monster is set to stun with it’s performance and driveability. Claimed to perform close to the petrol engined version, this day-glow yellow giant has maximum torque on hand from virtually zero revs, guaranteeing a mighty thrust in [...]

Mercedes SLS E-Cell

Electric Mercedes SLS scheduled for limited production run

AMG E-Cell badged but originating at Mercedes’ Norwegian establishment, this wunder-electro-monster is set to stun with it’s performance and driveability. Claimed to perform close to the petrol engined version, this day-glow yellow giant has maximum torque on hand from virtually zero revs, guaranteeing a mighty thrust in the back under acceleration. AMG’s engineers have steered closer to Audi’s E-Tron all electric car than BMW’s Vision hybrid concept. Carrying just one power source appeals from a purist’s perspective, but you can hardly avoid noticing that there’s no quoted range in the specs…Just how far can you go drawing 535bhp out of a bunch of Li-Po cells?!

We love the central dash display, losing a ton of knobs and allowing all sorts of context sensitive info to be shown large and legible. You’ll see this trickling down to many cars in the near future. Tesla’s S saloon being the most ambitiously knob-free to come. Horny too is the more aggressive detailing of grille, vents and active front spoiler.


[Gallery not found]
(more…)

Tagged with:
 

Geneva Motor Show 2010 – Porsche 918 hybrid spyder concept

Porsche spring a hybrid concept that isn’t a GT3 but a 918 The Porsche concept car is their interpretation of a hybrid sportscar. Nominally retro and recalling the famous racing car of the same number, it’s purpose in life is to give us Porsche performance with outstanding CO2 output and fuel efficiency. Claiming 70 grams [...]

Porsche 918 Hybrid Spyder Concept


Porsche spring a hybrid concept that isn’t a GT3 but a 918

The Porsche concept car is their interpretation of a hybrid sportscar.

Porsche 918 hybrid Concept with Walter Röhrl and Michael Mac

Nominally retro and recalling the famous racing car of the same number, it’s purpose in life is to give us Porsche performance with outstanding CO2 output and fuel efficiency. Claiming 70 grams CO2 per kilometre and fuel consumption to 3.0 litres/100 kilometres (94 mpg imp, this mid-engined two-seater combines the performance of a super-sports car with the CO2 emissions of a small compact. Porsche also claim that by combining both power sources they can eqaul the output of a V8! More tomorrow….

Tagged with:
 

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...