Browsing all articles from June, 2016

The All-Electric 2017 Chevrolet Bolt Is a Game Changer

Author JoeC    Category Electric Cars     Tags

2017 Chevy BoltYou might not have heard, but GM has been hard at work on an all-new, all-electric hatchback—the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. Giving drivers up to 200 miles of drive range and 200 hp, this new model electric vehicle lets you go gas-free while also connecting you to some of the most exciting cabin tech in the industry. Take a closer look at what this hatchback EV will have to offer when it hits the market later this year.

Powertrain Specs

What sets the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt apart from the competition is its electric motor, which gets its power from a powerful 60kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This isn’t your typical all-electric model, though, because the total output on this hatchback is a confident 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough power to reach a max speed of 91 mph and motivate the Bolt from 0 to 60 mph in less than seven seconds.

Charging and Drive Range

The Chevrolet Bolt is an all-electric vehicle, which means you won’t ever have to spend money on gas again as long as you’re driving this car. The electric motor does have to be charged, though, and you can do that via this model’s 7.2 kW charger. When plugged into a 240-volt outlet, this charger can add around 50 miles of driving range in under two hours. If you opt for more high-speed connection, you can get up to 90 miles in only 30 minutes. A fully charged Bolt has a total driving range of 200 miles, which is plenty of mileage for most day trips.

Cabin Features

This four-door car has seating for up to five passengers, which is great for a family ride—especially when you factor in the extra storage space from the hatchback design. Add to that some high-end tech features, and you’re set up for plenty of comfort, entertainment, and safety. The Chevy MyLink touchscreen interface offers smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The OnStar telematics system keeps you safe thanks to its emergency roadside assistance, automatic crash notification, and stolen vehicle assistance. Also attached to OnStar is a 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection that allows up to seven devices to connect to the Internet at one time. Topping it off is a suite of advanced driver assist safety features, including lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and forward collision warning.


How Does a Rotary Engine Work?

Author JoeC    Category Performance     Tags

Mazda rotary engineWhile the traditional piston engine remains the overwhelming favorite among performance combustion engines, there are a lot of auto enthusiasts out there who continue to be excited about the unique characteristics of the rotary engine. While you won’t find many vehicles motivated by the power of a rotary engine on the road today, there remain plenty of motivated enthusiasts who continue to tout the robust sound, commanding performance, and unusual engineering of the rotary engine. Find out how the rotary engine works, and discover some of the popular models fitted with the rotary engine.

How It Works

Like the engine under most car hoods today, the rotary engine is an internal combustion engine that works by channeling energy that is released when fuel is ignited. However, the design of the rotary engine is totally different from a traditional piston engine. Originally designed by German engineer Felix Wankel, the rotary engine utilizes a triangular rotor design that spins in a loop with a fuel and air intake system through a single engine compartment, from which it compresses and channels power. Unlike a conventional piston engine, the rotary engine works by rotating the cylinders around a single, fully integrated and unified system. One of the big benefits of this system is that because it works on a less complicated and more centralized system, there are less parts, less chance of breakdown, and easier and more affordable maintenance. Unfortunately, their powerful output and unique growling sound has the downside of generally poor fuel economy.

Vehicles with Rotary Engines

It’s been a long time since most auto manufacturers have designed a vehicle fitted with a rotary engine. However, Mazda has continued to tout the strength and value of these engines, and they’ve produced a model with a rotary engine as recently as the 2011 Mazda RX-8. While the Mazda rotary engine is not currently in production, there has been talk and rumors in recent years that they could be working on a newer version of the rotary engine that utilizes Mazda SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY to help improve this engine’s fuel economy prospects while delivering the throaty sound and gutsy performance of a genuine rotary engine.