Prototype

  • Hyundai Nexo

    As it does in every other aspect of the auto industry, Korean carmaker Hyundai-Kia has set itself an aggressive goal and a fast pace for rollout of self-driving vehicles. The Korean carmaker has said it would offer a vehicle capable of Level 4 autonomy—meaning a car that can operate without human input, but only for certain road types, geographic areas, or weather conditions—by 2021. On Friday, five Hyundai prototype self-driving vehicles completed a route covering more than 100 miles without humans behind the wheel interfering with the cars' decisions and travels. DON'T MISS...

  • Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid
    Ford to test plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van in London

    Earlier this month, Ford announced a host of new electrified vehicles, including prototype and production hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric models. Before its planned 2019 production launch, one of those vehicles will soon begin testing in London. It's a plug-in hybrid version of the...

  • GM Electrovan fuel-cell prototype, 1966
    Hydrogen cars celebrate half a century; have they made a difference?

    Electric cars are virtually as old as the auto industry, but hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are not. In fact, exactly fifty years ago this month, GM showed off the first one, which it called the Electrovan. This remarkable and innovative prototype for a zero-emission vehicle used the body of an...

  • Engineering development version of Chevrolet Bolt EV, Las Vegas, Jan 2016
    First Drive: Chevy Bolt EV 200-Mile Electric Car Development Vehicle

    If the production version of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV lives up to the engineering development vehicles we saw and drove today, it will debut a new world of affordable, 200-mile electric cars that should be desirable to a broad mass market. Back in 2010, Chevy let journalists drive "integration...

  • BMW i8 hydrogen fuel cell concept
    BMW's Ominous Black i8 Fuel-Cell Prototype: What It Sounds Like (Video)

    Very, very few people on the planet have ever seen a car powered by hydrogen fuel cells, much less ridden in or driven one. But if you've wondered what they sound like in operation, now's your chance. At a recent technology presentation, BMW showed off two different prototype vehicles powered by...

  • BMW i8 hydrogen fuel cell concept
    BMW Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Prototypes Now Testing, Production "Sometime After 2020"

    As the cost of advanced technologies to reduce the carbon footprint of vehicle travel rises, car companies have increasingly partnered to share those technologies and their costs. Now BMW has shown the first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle prototypes from its partnership of several years with Toyota...

  • 2015 BMW i3 REx  -  Driven, Portland OR, April 2015

    The limited-production Volkswagen XL1 ultra-economy two-seater gets astounding fuel efficiency from its two-cylinder diesel plug-in hybrid powertrain. It's well over 100 miles per gallon if you use the European test cycle (which differs from U.S. tests). But at a six-figure price and a production limited to a few hundred, it's not likely to have a huge impact on the car market. DON'T MISS: Volkswagen XL1 138-MPG Diesel Plug-In Hybrid: Drive Report (Dec 2013) Now comes news from German auto site Automobilwoche (via Auto Motor und Sport) that BMW is considering its own lightweight...

  • Fourth-generation Toyota Prius hybrid prototype testing in Thailand  [from Headlight Magazine forum]
    2016 Toyota Prius: More Spy Shots, From Thailand Testing

    The all-new fourth-generation Toyota Prius is getting closer and closer to launch, as witnessed by an increasing number of spy shots of prototypes testing all over the world. Two weeks ago, a heavily camouflaged Prius was recorded on video fueling up at a North American gas station. Now, new shots...

  • Volkswagen Beetle Dune Hybrid concept, New York City, May 2015
    Volkswagen Beetle Dune Hybrid Concept: Quick Drive

    A large red electrical shutdown switch inside a car says it all: You're driving a prototype. New York City passers-by who looked approvingly at our shiny bronze Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept car didn't know it, but the butcher-looking Beetle was running on a hybrid system not currently offered in...

  • 2014 Volkswagen Beetle TDI
    VW Beetle Hybrid Prototype Previewed Outside New York Auto Show

    A Volkswagen Beetle Hybrid prototype appeared outside the 2015 New York Auto Show.

  • Tesla Model X in camouflage being tested at former Alameda Naval Air Station  [video: Juan del Real]
    Tesla Model X Caught On Video In Acceleration, Cornering Tests

    Thank heavens for the Interwebs, which have now surfaced a video of a Tesla Model X electric SUV being tested in the San Francisco Bay Area. There's just over 60 seconds of footage of what's clearly a Model X, with camouflage patterns covering the details of its bodywork. DON'T MISS: Tesla Model S...

  • 2016 BMW 3-Series eDrive plug-in hybrid prototype
    BMW Unveiled Not Just One, But Three Plug-In Hybrids Last Week

    If there was any doubt that we'll see a spate of new plug-in hybrids over the next few years, a set of three different announcements from BMW last week should put that to rest. The Bavarian maker of "ultimate driving machines" launched a long-wheelbase 5-Series sedan for China with a plug-in hybrid...

  • Volkswagen Passat HyMotion hydrogen fuel cell prototype  -  Los Angeles, November 2014

    The 2016 Toyota Mirai may have been the biggest news in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles at last week's Los Angeles Auto Show, but it wasn't alone. VW Group brought two fuel-cell prototypes to the show's green-car ride and drive program, and we spent 15 minutes driving one. DON'T MISS: Volkswagen Golf SportWagen HyMotion: Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Concept At LA Auto Show Separately, Volkswagen showed a 2015 Golf SportWagen concept powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, highlighting the adaptability of its MQB compact architecture. That component set was designed to accommodate everything from gasoline and...

  • Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan pre-production prototype, Southern California, Sep 2014 [Mike Magrath]
    2016 Toyota Mirai Sedan Photographed Testing In Southern California

    Pity the poor automotive spy photographer. She spends months in Death Valley with an expensive camera, only for her paying clients to be swamped with cellphone shots snapped by eager readers and sent in for free or posted on social media. Which is (more or less) how we come to see our first shots...

  • Nissan Frontier Diesel Prototype, Nashville, July 2014
    Nissan Frontier Diesel Pickup Truck: Prototype Drive Review

    We drive a Nissan Frontier midsize pickup truck equipped with a Cummins four-cylinder turbodiesel engine.

  • Creative Workshop 'eCarriage' electric car prototype, New York Auto Show, April 2014
    Electric 'Vintage Car' Proposed To Replace NYC Horse Carriages: New York Auto Show

    Animal rights and electric cars don't usually intersect much, but a long-running New York City battle has produced one of the more unusual electric-car designs shown in public. At the New York Auto Show last week, a very large electric vehicle--effectively a larger-than-life electric scale model of...

  • BMW X5 e-Drive plug-in hybrid prototype, test drive, Woodcliff Lake, NJ, April 2014
    BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid Prototype: We Drive Future Electric SUV

    They're not here yet, but in less than two years, U.S. buyers will have a choice of at least three plug-in hybrid SUV models to choose from. Now, we've driven a prototype version of one of them: the BMW X5 e-Drive, which will be shown as an updated concept car at this week's New York Auto Show...

  • Tesla Model S all-wheel-drive prototype testing in California, March 2014
    Is This A Tesla Model S AWD Prototype Caught Testing? (Video, Photos)

    It's long been expected that sooner or later, the Tesla Model S electric sport sedan will be offered with all-wheel drive. Now, two different Tesla fans have captured photos and video of what appears to be a prototype test vehicle with external instrumentation driving around the San Francisco Bay...

  • Prototype 2015 Kia Soul EV electric cars, July 2013 [photo: Lee Colleton, used under CC-BY-SA]

    Ten days ago, spy shots of a new battery-electric car--from a maker that hasn't yet offered one yet--burst onto the scene. Electric-car fan Lee Colleton shot the 2015 Kia Soul EV prototype test cars connected to CHAdeMO quick-charging stations at a Residence Inn in the California coastal town of San Juan Capistrano. While we'd love to believe that the upcoming Soul EV will be the Korean's maker competitor for the Nissan Leaf, we doubt that's the case. Compliance cars: Round 2? Instead, we suspect the upcoming electric Soul will be the first in another crop of compliance cars. Those are...

  • Prototype 2015 BMW ActiveHybrid X5 in San Francisco, July 2013 [photo: Alister Oliver]
    Spy Shots: 2015 BMW ActiveHybrid X5 Prototype

    Is BMW planning an ActiveHybrid X5 model for the next-generation X5 crossover, due to launch this fall as a 2014 model? That's what it appears from one reader's sighting of a camouflaged prototype in San Francisco. Yesterday, Alister Oliver wrote: I'm currently at Hawk Hill in San Francisco...

  • Natural-gas vehicle prototypes, Los Angeles, May 2013 - group shot at Playa del Rey storage field
    Prototype Natural-Gas Vehicles Use Gasoline As Range Extender

    To date, natural-gas vehicles have come with significant compromises. The high-pressure tanks that hold enough compressed natural gas to run 200 miles or more take up many cubic feet of space in the trunk, load bay, or pickup bed. But what if you could design a vehicle that had just enough natural...

  • Volvo S60 KERS Engineering Prototype
    Volvo S60 KERS Hybrid Prototype: Brief First Drive

    Is KERS an energy-saving technology we'll be seeing in production cars any time soon, or is it just a way to help increase performance? We've been to Sweden to find out at Volvo's Gothenburg test track.

  • 2014 Volkswagen XL1 spy shots - Image courtesy of Motor Authority
    Prototype 2014 Volkswagen XL1 Ultra-Efficient Car Spied Testing

    Last year at the 2011 Qatar Motor Show, Volkswagen wooed the audience with its XL1 plug-in hybrid concept car, a vehicle it said would get an amazing 0.9 liters per 100 kilometers, or 260 mpg. Now, a road-going prototype version of the gas-sipping two-seater has been spotted undergoing extensive...

  • 2014 Volkswagen Golf blue-e-motion prototype – Copyright High Gear Media
    Volkswagen Golf Blue-e-motion: Prototype Drive Report (Video)

    Driving pre-production prototypes of new electric cars is part of life here at GreenCarReports, as it enables us to give you the best possible evaluation of an up-coming new car before it hits the dealer lots. Recently however, we got a chance to sit behind the wheel again of the Volkswagen Golf...