Page 77 - ElectriCar Magazine
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      MSRP $68,000
3.0LT, 48VLI, 335Hp, MPGe 22/29, 31e, Wt 4,332
The A7 got a big update upon entering its second genera- tion. It has a new look, a new engine and tons of modern technology to keep it competitive and appealing. The A7 sharesitsarchitecturewiththeredesignedA8. The48-volt Lithium Ion battery is located under the cargo floor, and feeds its power to the engine’s crankshaft via a belt-driven motor/generator, which also functions as the car’s alternator and stop/start engine starter. The hybrid system doesn’t in- crease the powertrain’s maximum output but “torque fills” to reduce perceived turbo lag and the V-6’s workload—includ-
ing allowing it to shut down entirely for engine-off coasting, a function that’s seamless but one we won’t get here. The chief benefitofthe48-voltsystemisthatitallowstheautostop/startfeaturetooperatemoresmoothlyandmoreoften. Theprofile of the A7 isn’t much different from the 2018 model. The A7 continues the general shape of a liftback sedan with four doors and a sloping rear hatch. It borrows some styling cues from other recently refreshed Audi models like the A8, with thinner headlights and a bigger grille. There is a wide horizontal tail lamp spanning the back of the new A7.
Audi A8 MSRP $84,795
3.0LT, 48VLI, 449Hpc, MPGe 19/20, 31e, Wt 4,751
The A8’s aluminum architecture is offered in the U.S. only in its long-wheelbase configuration, the A8L. At 123.1 inches. Overall length increases slightly to 208.7 inches and the Audi’s rear quarters remain complete. The A8’s marquee features also include an active suspension system that is able to lift the body to better protect occupants from side im- pacts. Indailyuse,itwillscantheroadaheadtopredictively raise or lower the body at each corner, gliding the A8L over bumps and potholes.
The powertrain is a 3.0L turbocharged V6 rated at 340 horsepower, a 4.0L turbocharged V8 producing 460 horsepower. All of them will operate in conjunction with a belt alternator
starter, which is the nerve centre of the 48V electrical system.
The new V6 in the A8 gets its big improvement in torque with no impact on fuel economy thanks to a new mild-hybrid system. It has a 48-volt electrical system that can assist the engine, which improves performance and saves fuel.
One thing that sets the A8 apart from many of its competitors is standard all-wheel drive with the Audi quattro system.
BMW 225xe MSRP $22,930
1.5LT, 48VLI, 227Hpc, MPGe 48/52, 25e, Wt 3,835
So, Audi is promising some form of electrification in all of its cars by 2025, Mercedes has committed to at least 10 Plug-In Hybrid models by 2020, and now BMW is equipping many of its cars with the technology, too. We already have the X5 Plug-In Hybrid SUV, plus the 330e version of the 3-series and now a 225xe as well.
The Plug-In Hybrid version uses a similar drivetrain to BMW’s i8 sports car, with a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet with its own six-speed automatic gearbox, plus an electric motor with a separate two-speed
transmission all mounted in a transaxle at the rear.
This all gives the 225xe the ability to be front-wheel drive if you opt for internal combustion via the battery save mode, rear- wheeldriveifyouselectpureelectricorfour-wheeldriveifyouuseboth. Eevennow,ithasveryfewdirect–orindirect – rivals. The Toyota Prius+ is a seven-seat MPV, but is a hybrid rather than a Plug-In. The 225xe doesn’t look that different to the other models in the range – only the badges and a charging flap on the front wing give it away.
BMW 330e MSRP $34,900
2.0LT, 48VLI, 252Hpc, MPGe 19/20, 37e, Wt 4,751
If you like the styling and road manners of a BMW 3-Series, but want to push the envelope on efficiency, then the 330e is the answer. Commutes of less than 37 miles can happen purely on electricity, with an official 72 MPGe rating. Punch the accelerator for combined power from a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine and 87hp electric motor. That results in nearly as much torque as the V6 340i.
One new feature of the new BMW 330e Sedan is the standard XtraBoost, which gives the vehicle its highest level of dynamic performance. It is easy to access by activating
SPORT mode using the driving experience switch. In order to support the combustion engine in dynamic driving situations, the electric motor with XtraBoost temporarily provides up to 30 kW/41 hp – stored in the high-voltage battery – in addition to its continuous output. The additional XtraBoost makes for a more intense acceleration experience than in a conventionally powered vehicle with a comparable engine output. The XtraBoost can be used up to the minimum charge status of the high voltage battery. It is also available for kickdown maneuvers and in the M/S position of the gear selector lever.
JUNE 2020
Audi A7
BMW i3 continued from page 25
BMW also expected the i3 to use the same type of battery and powertrain that is being tested in the ActiveE trials.
The prototype presented at the 2011 International Motor Show Germany had a 22 kWh LithiumIon battery pack that is expected to deliver between 130 to 160 km (80 to 100 mi) and the battery was fully charged in about
four hours with the 240-volt charging unit. The i3 was expected to go
from 0 to 60mph in less than eight seconds. The i3 features a 170hp electric motor mounted on the rear axle to drive the rear wheels and
the top speed is limited to 93mph. BMW i3 charging was designed
by BMW so that the i3 eDrive powertrain was based on the premise that the battery would need to be recharged only once every two to three days. The charging frequency was derived from field trial results taken from the ActiveE and MINI
E vehicles in Asia, Europe and the U.S., whereby the typical commuting use between the pilot users’ homes and workplaces was calculated.
In June 2012 an updated version of the BMW i3 concept car was unveiled at the opening of the first BMW i store in London, UK. The updated i3 concept consisted of a new interior color and materials. The seat covers combine responsibly sourced wool and leather naturally tanned with an olive oil leaf-based agent. The almost symmetrical curving dash was inlaid with treated eucalyptus wood that, according to BMW, was sourced from sustainably managed European forests.
Information was provided to the driver through a 6.5 inch freestanding instrument cluster and a 8.8 inch central information display. The bench-derived front seats replaced the center tunnel that bisected
the cabin and a floor-mounted transmission, brake levers or center console were also absent.
Charging And Connectivity for the
i3 allowed the owner to charge the battery from a conventional socket.
The BMW i3 had a number of charging functions. AC fast charging could take less than three hours with the use of the BMWi Wallbox Pure, when charging from 0 to eighty percent. The i3 also had a rapid charging option suitable for public DC charging stations and could take less than 30 minutes to
BMW i3 continued on page 76 75

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