Tag Archives: Range

2017 BMW i3 with Range Extender Tested: Power Ranger


BMW is pulling a page from Tesla’s playbook and offering the i3 electric car with a larger battery-pack option as part of a 2017 model-year update. While the base BMW i3 uses the same 21.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack as i3s past, a new option increases the battery capacity to 33.2 kWh for $ 2050 and offers an EPA-rated 114 miles of driving range on a full charge—33 miles more than the base model. (Contrary to Tesla’s convention of including the energy capacity of its batteries, in kilowatt-hours, in its cars’ names, BMW chooses to potentially confuse buyers by naming the available batteries based on their ampere-hour ratings. While 60 Ah and 94 Ah look more impressive on paper than 21.6 kWh and 33.2 kWh, you will only see us referring to them as the latter pairing.) READ MORE ››

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2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid to top range, start from $52,935

2017 Acura MDXThe terms “sport,” “hybrid,” and “crossover” have seemed incongruous, but luxury brand Acura hopes to change that with its 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid. Set to go on sale soon from $ 52,935 (including a mandatory $ 975 destination charge), the top-of-the-line version of the MDX features a high-tech hybrid propulsion system derived from the brand’s NSX…
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Aston Martin Considers Turning Lagonda into a Range of Super-Luxury Sedans

2016 Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf

We’ve already told you about CEO Andy Palmer’s far-reaching plans for the Aston Martin lineup, but the company is also looking at turning the Lagonda brand into a broader range of cars. Palmer has told Car and Driver he effectively wants to fill the super-luxury checkerboard and that he regards Aston and Lagonda as being able to offer everything from mid-engined supercars to crossovers. Plus sedans, which is where Lagonda comes in.

Although, until its recent revival, Lagonda was at risk of being forgotten, the brand actually has a longer history than Aston Martin itself, as well as a peripheral American connection in that founder Wilbur Gunn was born in Springfield, Ohio, and named his U.K.-based company after a Shawnee settlement close to his birthplace. His company became associated with hugely expensive luxury sedans such as the 1939 Lagonda Rapide V-12, which had the distinction of being the most expensive car on sale in the United States at the time of its launch.

After World War II, Lagonda was taken over by David Brown and merged with Aston Martin, continuing to produce small numbers of plutocratic sedans until the name was quietly iced in 1964. The brand came back in 1976 as the name of an Aston model, the William Towns–designed Lagonda sedan, a car with such square-edged styling that it made the original Lotus Esprit seem curvaceous. The model died in 1989, and the brand seemed to expire with it.

But Palmer had other ideas, rapidly commissioning the Lagonda Taraf as a toe-in-the-water exercise after he took control of Aston in 2014. Although that car was an ultralimited model spun from the existing Aston Rapide and carried a seven-figure price, it clearly proved that there is demand. Palmer confirmed that work is being done to determine what form the range should take: “At the moment, I assume two cars. It could be one, it could be three—that will come out in the business case—but two is the most likely.”

As with the plans for the sub-Valkyrie mid-engined supercar that Aston hopes will take on Ferrari and Lamborghini, Lagonda plans haven’t been approved yet. Aston Martin will need to meet its future financial targets before doing so, but Palmer clearly is extremely keen to take the fight directly to Bentley and Rolls-Royce.

2016 Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf

“I think Lagonda can be a hugely credible brand in that part of the market,” Palmer said. “We know how to make cars handle, we know how to make them luxurious, and we have already made and sold sedans.”

Of course, these Lagonda ambitions leave the current Aston Martin Rapide four-door without an obvious future; it’s already conspicuous as the only member of the current Aston family without a direct replacement. Palmer confirms the Rapide will die either when the DBX crossover launches or when the first new Lagonda comes along.

  • Aston Readies New Product Offensive; Here’s What to Expect through 2020
  • Aston’s Sub-Valkyrie Mid-Engined Supercar May Spawn Entire Range
  • Lagonda Taraf Driven! Creating a $ 1,000,000 Limo from a Sports Car

And although no new Lagondas have moved beyond the drawing board yet, Palmer hinted that we can expect to see large mechanical differences between most Aston models, potentially even a Lagonda that shares the forthcoming DBX EV’s electric powertrain. “Emissions is obviously something that matters in a part of the market where cars tend to spend lots of time in cities,” he said. “Obviously any range of cars could be different in their powertrains from an Aston Martin. Everything is on the table.”

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