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Audi A7 h-tron flirts with performance fuel-cells

Audi A7 h-tron flirts with performance fuel-cells

The LA Auto Show 2014 is shaping up to be the car show where fuel-cells come to the fore, with the new Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro joining Toyota’s Mirai and Honda’s FCV in turning to hydrogen for its power. Officially a plug-in hybrid + fuel-cell electric car, as Audi would have it, the A7 Sportback h-tron quattro concept delivers 230 HP and 400 lb-ft of torque from its combined powerplants, as well as delivering what the Germany company says should be around 342 miles of driving range.

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2016 Toyota Mirai First-Drive – Fuel-Cells Dawning

2016 Toyota Mirai First-Drive – Fuel-Cells Dawning

You can’t accuse Toyota of rushing the 2016 Toyota Mirai to market. The hydrogen powered sedan may look like a vision of the future circa Buck Rogers, but its fuel-cell powertrain is decidedly cutting-edge, not to mention determinedly optimistic around issues of infrastructure and regulatory commitment to zero-emission vehicles. At $57,500 pre-subsidies, it seems the future carries a significant cost of entry, too. So, after some time behind the wheel of the Mirai, the question remains: is the age of hydrogen finally upon us?

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2016 Toyota Mirai priced up for 2015 US fuel-cell debut

2016 Toyota Mirai priced up for 2015 US fuel-cell debut

Toyota has announced US pricing for the 2016 Mirai, its first commercially-available fuel-cell car, along with a package of extras it hopes will coax drivers away from gasoline engines. Set to hit US forecourts in 2015, albeit initially only in California and even then at a select handful of dealerships, the Mirai will have a sticker price of $57,500, Toyota said today, though various subsidies and initiatives are expected to bring that down to around $45,000. There's also the lure of free fuel - for some, at least - to sweeten the deal.

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Breaking the Toyota Mirai down by the numbers

Breaking the Toyota Mirai down by the numbers

Are fuel-cells finally ready for the mass market? Toyota believes so, and it says it has the numbers to back that up. With the 2016 Mirai set to bring the hydrogen-sipping, water-spitting technology to the road next year - the culmination of twenty years of Toyota’s development - it won’t necessarily be a fast journey to market success; as Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of Toyota’s board and “father of the Prius” pointed out, it took around a decade before the company’s hybrid sales hit one million globally, punctuated with no small amount of criticism from other industry players along the way. Read on as we break down the Mirai by the sometimes surprising numbers, and even explain that controversial Battlestar Gallactica-esque front.

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Toyota Mirai named as fuel-cells get serious

Toyota Mirai named as fuel-cells get serious

Toyota has officially named its first production fuel-cell car, with the eye-catching sedan previously known as the FCV set to hit dealerships as the 2016 Toyota Mirai. Set to launch in the US, Japan, and select European countries as the Japanese car firm continues in its attempts to ween the world off its gasoline addiction, the new model will also benefit from a freshly-inked deal to put hydrogen recharging points across not only California but now New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island as well. With a full tank, the Mirai should run for around 300 miles, Toyota says, emitting nothing more noxious than water.

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VW’s uber-frugal engine will make you want a diesel

VW’s uber-frugal engine will make you want a diesel

Volkswagen's flirting with higher efficiency engines looks finally set to reach the road, with a new diesel powerplant promising almost 60mpg without sacrificing driving power. The Germany company has taken its four-cylinder diesel into the labs and boosted power to 268 HP, while bringing fuel efficiency up to levels that won't actually be demanded from regulators for more than five years. However, unlike some of VW's more eye-catching development vehicles, the new TDI engine won't be wrapped up in a supercar body.

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BMW and Toyota hit concept stage on hybrid sports car deal

BMW and Toyota hit concept stage on hybrid sports car deal

BMW and Toyota's much-anticipated - and oft-rumored - collaboration on new sports cars has finally taken a step forward, the two companies revealed this week, but the end results are still far from the showroom. The German and Japanese marques began working together in 2012 on a Li-Ion battery project for EVs and hybrids, which flourished into a team effort on a new, midsized sports car duo with shared architecture wrapped in true-to-brand style and driving experience. Problem is, the project is already running about a year behind the initial schedule.

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Tesla plans simpler Model S range to tackle EV bottleneck

Tesla plans simpler Model S range to tackle EV bottleneck

Tesla plans to cut down on the number of options and variations it offers with the Model S in an attempt to trim complexity and cut down on production delays, as the company announces revenues up 55-percent year-on-year for the most recent quarter. Quarterly deliveries for Q3 2014 were actually at their highest ever, at 7,785 cars, with Tesla making as many as 907 deliveries in a single day. However, the electric car firm was again hamstrung by production bottlenecks, unable to meet demand.

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Chevrolet’s counting on this to win it the EV war

Chevrolet’s counting on this to win it the EV war

Chevrolet isn't quite ready to show us the new, 2016 Volt - that won't happen until early in the new year - but it can't contain itself from revealing what's arguably most important about the next-gen car, its all-new powertrain. Dubbed Voltec, the system comprises not only the electric drive and the battery, but the range-extending engine and the companion power electronics that allows the gas system to kick in and stretch out just how far the Volt can run. According to Chevrolet, the new Voltec setup has been designed "substantially" around how existing Volt owners actually drive their cars.

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BMW i8S and hotter i8 duo tipped to turn up EV power

BMW i8S and hotter i8 duo tipped to turn up EV power

BMW's i8 hybrid sportscar is tipped to be in line for a power boost, with the Germany company said to have earmarked the eco-friendly coupe for an upgrade to both parts of its powertrain. Distinctively designed both inside and out, the current BMW i8 musters 357 HP and 450 lb-ft of torque from its combination of a three-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor. However, according to industry whispers, both of those are going to be replaced with more powerful versions - among other changes - in a hotter, more focused version, and it may only be the start of BMW's scheming.

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