Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, VW, Global Hawk.
Fourth-generation Prius unveiled: Toyota finally took the wraps off the 2016 hybrid model. Fuel economy most likely improved by 18 percent and performance was enhanced, though official details about the drivetrain will first be unveiled at the IAA. While the carmaker made some minor adjustments (aerodynamics, performance and body), the hybrid pioneer remains the well-known best-seller at heart.
toyota.eu, hybridcars.com, cheatsheet.com (video of live presentation)
No electric 7 series: BMW’s head of development, Klaus Fröhlich, said there would be no electric 7-series in the foreseeable future, as current batteries would be too heavy if they were to deliver the 600-km range expected in that class. To meet that kind of requirement, BMW will turn to Toyota’s fuel cell.
automobilproduktion.de (in German)
Mercedes C350e delayed: Daimler had wanted to launch its plug-in hybrid in the U.S. this autumn. Now, the launch of the C350e has been pushed back to “the first half of 2016,” company sources say. A reason for the delay was not given.
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Hybridising China: VW presented the Golf GTE at the Chengdu Motor Show. The compact PHEV will cost Chinese buyers 288,800 yuan (44,000 dollars). Toyota also had hybrids on display, showing the Corolla and Levin. Both are scheduled to enter the market later this autumn.
Sharpened EV profile: The EV joint venture of Kandi and Geely will from now on sell its electric vehicles under the brand name Global Hawk. The label is well known from other Geely products and is believed to elevate the JV’s electric offering into the mid- to high tier markets.