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Possibility of a Lexus version of the Toyota Alphard minivan floated

It is an open secret that many of Lexus’ vehicle offering are or were derived from an existing Toyota product. This isn't really surprising considering that Lexus is the luxury division of Toyota. This means that an existing model from Toyota could have a Lexus version in the future. Would that hold true for the Toyota Alphard luxury minivan?

While Lexus is the luxury division of Toyota, the latter also builds its own luxury vehicles. The Toyota Alphard -- named after the brightest star in the constellation Hydra -- is one of these luxury vehicles. Also known as the Toyota Vellfire, the Alphard luxury minivan is available either as a seven-seater or an eight-seater. Aside from the usual gasoline version, the Alphard is also available as a hybrid, employing Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology.

The Alphard could be a viable candidate for “adoption” at Lexus. After all, a number of Toyota models had been adopted Lexus. For instance, the Lexus RX and IS were originally derived from the Toyota Harrier and Altezza, respectively. Likewise, the Lexus GX and LX were originally derived from the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Land Cruiser. In addition, the Lexus ES was derived initially from the Toyota Camry, and then from the Avalon.

Read the entire article Possibility of a Lexus version of the Toyota Alphard minivan floated

VW T6 Multivan sales are halted in Germany due to high nitrogen oxide emissions

It has only been a few days since Oliver Schmidt, former Volkswagen executive, was handed a maximum possible sentence by US District Judge Sean Cox. He will have to spend seven years in prison and pay a fine of $400,000. And on December 8, Volkswagen has again been put on the spot. The German automaker urgently had to stop their sales of the T6 Multivan in Germany because it was discovered that the van emits way more nitrogen oxide than what is allowed by local emissions limits.

Der Spiegel magazine said that the findings have already been reported to the KBA, Germany’s motor transport authority. This had been quoted by Automotive News.

What happened is that Volkswagen set the “adjustment factor” too low when they submitted documents to the KBA to have the T6 Multivan’s sales approved, says the German publication. To defend their name, a Volkswagen spokesperson from the commercial vehicle division said that incorrect engine management software is ruled out as a possible reason for these uncertainties.

Read the entire article VW T6 Multivan sales are halted in Germany due to high nitrogen oxide emissions

Nissan Serena minivan gets new E-Power variant at 2017 Tokyo Motor Show

Nissan’s Serena minivan will be getting some hybrid assistance after Nissan introduced us to the E-Power system, and it will be called the Nissan Serena E-Power. This hybrid minivan will make its way to the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, following its release in spring 2018.

First of all, the Serena will still get the same E-Power drivetrain just like that in the Note that is available in other markets. With the new setup, the internal combustion engine will act as a range extender for the batteries that give power to the electric motor. Thanks to this setup, the Serena E-Power does not need to be charged externally since the ICE does it for the electric motors. If you are familiar with the Leaf, the components in the Serena E-Power’s drivetrain are similar to that one.

As of today, Nissan has not shared information when it comes to the Serena E-Power’s system specifications - from the output, efficiency, and the range. But at the same time, the automaker also promises that the minivan will offer powerful, responsive acceleration of an electric-drive vehicle, together with a silent car and excellent fuel efficiency.

Read the entire article Nissan Serena minivan gets new E-Power variant at 2017 Tokyo Motor Show

Honda Step WGN gets more tech and a facelift for 2018MY

The first Step WGN was introduced in Japan in the mid-1990s, and the current model is getting a complete makeover in 2015. For this year’s refresh, the massive van’s front fascia will be tweaked, as it gets a new grille with new LED head lights. On the rear, the Step WGN’s tail gate spoiler has been tweaked to make it look sportier. The updates don’t end there. Under the van’s hood will be a dual-motor sport hybrid system, and it will be given a new suspension tuning too.

As for the safety features, all Step WGN models will be getting Honda Sensing safety systems that come as standard. This system includes adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning, Honda LaneWatch. Furthermore, it features blind spot information system, cross traffic monitor, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and many more.

The entire lineup of the Step WGN will include a 1.5 liter turbocharged mill, which doesn’t quite compare to the Spada Hybrid that comes with a 2.0 liter engine for its electric motors. Customers could get it with a front-wheel-drive that comes as standard, but they can also opt for the all-wheel drive - both of these work with a CVT automatic.

Read the entire article Honda Step WGN gets more tech and a facelift for 2018MY

The Volkswagen Kombi is out, and something bigger and better is in - that is the VW California XXL Concept. We saw a sneak preview of it this month, and we know that is based on the Crafter, and now, there are more images and details of it that VW has shared.

This weekend, the California XXL will make its public debut at the Caravan Salon Düsseldorf. But what’s more important is the fact that this will make sure that passengers will feel at home wherever they are. In fact, it might even be better than your studio. Just like any camper, the most important factor is the cabin - how much space it has, how homey it is, and what features it has.

Starting off with the kitchen area. It comes standard with a sink, gas hob, and a few fridges. But what’s also great is the fact that the Crafter has a higher roof, so there is no need to worry about hitting your head while cooking when the vehicle is on the go. Moving on to the back area, the XXL has a lot of space for you to move around, it has alcoves for two children and more than enough space for sleeping. In the back, there are a lot of windows - one that has a wide opening, plus there is a massive panoramic roof that’s perfect for star gazing or checking out the northern lights on winter nights, while you are in the comfort of your own van. When the sun rises and you want more space, the beds can easily be stowed in a compartment in the middle section of the camper.

Read the entire article VW California XXL Concept is the future of campers

2017 Chrysler Pacifica began sales in dealerships about a year ago. And now, the company is introducing an animal-friendly trim for those who want more features of the model without having to sit on animal skin.

The Touring Plus, also known as the sixth trim for the Pacifica lineup, falls in between the Touring and the Touring L trims. The package offers more standard (and optional) features without being stuck with those hot leather seats.

The comfy minivan will be given premium features such as a power lift gate and a new front fascia. Finished in a gloss black paint, the exterior gets a mesh lower fascia and new fog lights like the higher trim levels. There will be projector headlights on the front while the rear gets LED taillights. For a more comfortable ride, it will come with a three-zone automatic temperature control, as well as second- and third-row sunshades, and lets not forget the universal garage door opener.

Read the entire article 2017 Chrysler Pacifica receives new Touring Plus model

After unveiling the next generation Odyssey at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Honda has officially commenced production of the minivan. As planned, Honda is now assembling the 2018 Odyssey at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA).

Despite the increasing popularity of SUVs and crossovers, minivans have managed to post reasonable sales. One of these minivan models is the Honda Odyssey, which has been popular among customers for seven years. Its popularity is evidenced by the fact that around 130,000 Honda Odyssey minivans were sold in 2016. Now, the 2018 iteration of the Odyssey is offering new features and different technologies to further its appeal among minivan customers.

The start of production of the 2018 Honda Odyssey was celebrated by HMA’s over 1,500 associates. HMA – located in Lincoln, Alabama -- is the sole manufacturer of Honda Odyssey, and also of the Pilot SUV and Ridgeline pickup truck. HMA also assembles the Acura MDX luxury SUV.

Read the entire article Honda commences production of 2018 Odyssey minivan

The Dutch Volkswagen importer’s journey didn’t just end in Wolfsburg. In celebration of Volkswagen Bulli’s 70th anniversary, the German brand brought the VW Multivan special edition to the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Known to many as the Volkswagen Kombi, the Bulli came into production in the 1950s. After seven long decades, Volkswagen is celebrating the utility vehicle’s anniversary with “70 Years of The Bulli”. A big celebration certainly awaits it after it was discovered by its founder seventy years ago in 1947.

The Kombi’s storied past begun when Ben Pon, a Volkswagen importer from Netherlands came to VW’s Wolfsburg plant for a visit. After he saw the plant’s runabout vehicle, the Plattenwagen soon became his inspiration to create the Transporter. The rest as they say is history.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is commemorating the founding of Ben Pon’s prodigious project at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland with the Bulli special edition Minivan. There, Volkswagen showcases a model based on the latest generation Transporter.

Read the entire article 2017 Geneva Motor Show stages Volkswagen’s 70 Years of the Bulli

Honda finally presented the new 2018 Odyssey minivan during the 2017 North American International Auto Show, currently held in Detroit. Already popular with customers for seven years now, the 2018 model year is expected to offer new features and different technologies.

The design of the 2018 Odyssey sports a more contemporary style which utilizes the flying wing grille on the front with the LED headlights on each side. It has the Active Shutter Grille which helps enhance fuel efficiency especially when cruising. The trademarked lightning bolt beltline is still there but it has a design element that is more elegant. On the rear section, the taillights also utilize LED and a hands-free power tailgate has been equipped to it.

The highlight of the 2018 Odyssey is the in-vehicle connectivity which brings the family connectivity concept to new heights. Because it offers what may be the quietest cabin in its segment, conversation among occupants is easier. Enhancing the experience are the different connected-vehicle technologies and features. Connectivity for example is now available as 4G LTE.

Read the entire article 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan breaks cover at 2017 Detroit Auto Show

Just days after Google’s autonomous vehicle project became an autonomous tech company dubbed as Waymo Inc., the company now unveiled its first fully self-driving vehicles in the guise of 100 driverless Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans.

Back in May 2016, Waymo – then known as the Google Self-Driving Project – and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles entered into a partnership in which the carmaker would provide a number of vehicles to the project. The partners saw it fitting to choose Chrysler’s new 2017 Pacifica Hybrid minivans – 100 of them -- for the self-driving vehicle project. The Pacifica Hybrid minivans were specifically built by Chrysler to be fitted with the latest of Google’s hardware and software.

While these Chrysler Pacifica units are based on the 2017 production model available to the market, the carmaker modified them – including their chassis, powertrain, structural and electrical systems – so that Waymo could properly install its own technology into these new minivans.

Read the entire article Waymo provides glimpse of its fully autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans

In the minivan segment, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is already impressive in terms of fuel economy figures – as rated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica returns EPA-rated fuel economy figures of 28 mpg highway, 18 mpg city and 22 mpg combined. But it turns out that its hybrid version would infallibly dominate the minivan mpg wars after EPA finally released its fuel economy ratings for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

Prior to the release of the official EPA ratings for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, the carmaker is already preaching impressive fuel economy figures for its new minivan. Chrysler expected the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid to return 80 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) – that is when the minivan is running in pure electric mode. The carmaker also expected the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid to be able to travel up to 30 miles in all-electric (EV) mode. In addition, the hybrid minivan from Chrysler is estimated to deliver – when running on conventional engine – 32 mpg combined city and highway. Overall, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid offers a range of around 530 miles.

When the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid underwent scrutiny with the EPA, the results were highly encouraging for the hybrid minivan, as they totally exceeded Chrysler’s expected fuel economy numbers. According to the EPA, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid returns 84 MPGe (vs. 80 MPGe estimated) with a conventional rating of 33 mpg combined city and highway (vs. 32 mpg combined city and highway estimated). In the all-electric mode, the EPA has certified the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid to be able to travel up to 33 miles (vs. 30 miles estimated). In addition, EPA has rated the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as being capable of reaching a total of 566 miles (vs. 530 miles estimated). With these numbers, Chrysler will be able to gloss the credentials of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as the most fuel-efficient minivan in the market so far, until Chrysler or other carmakers manage to surpass it.

Read the entire article 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is now king of minivan fuel efficiency as rated by EPA

Buyers looking for excellent fuel efficiency need not look further than the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan. With a highway-cycle fuel-economy rating of 28 miles per gallon given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is 12 percent more efficient than the model it replaces and it now holds the record for fuel efficiency in the minivan category.

In addition, the new Chrysler minivan was found to be nine percent greener than the previous model. FCA Product Development COO and Head of Product Portfolio Management for FCA’s Group Executive Council Mark Chernoby explains that the new Pacifica isn’t just engineered for today’s enjoyment but is designed and crafted with the welfare of its customers many years down the road.

This is why, the company created one of the cleanest vehicles in its category. The new minivan’s nine percent improvement compared to the previous model is based on its Global Warming Potential (GWP), an industry-adopted means to gauge the all-inclusive environmental impact of a vehicle from its production, to its delivery, and eventually to its fuel consumption figures while being used.

Read the entire article 2017 Chrysler Pacifica offers fuel economy rating of 28 mpg highway, 22 mpg combined

It won’t be long now before the Volkswagen BUDD-e enters production and arrives at nearby dealerships. Earlier this year, the MPV was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show. It was one of the many vehicles that promoted connected mobility solutions.

Moreover, it demonstrated the clear vision of Wolfsburg of what the car maker's Modular Electric platform can offer. Volkswagen did not hide its intention to put its platform into use. According to the automaker, it will enable a number of production vehicles with pure electric range instead of the traditional gas-powered engines by the end of 2020.

Volkswagen, however, did not discuss specific models. Instead, it was Volkswagen Electronic Development Head Volkmar Tanneberger who did that in a recent interview. Tanneberger explained, "You will see a car that looks a lot like this, on the MEB platform, reach production."

Read the entire article VW’s purely electric BUDD-e will soon enter serial production track

The electrification technology was actually ideally suited for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan on account of its large footprint and multiple daily trip patterns, according to Bob Lee, Vice President and Head of Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion Systems Engineering, FCA – North America.

The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica comes with a promising technology that drives its electric form. The Pacifica Hybrid, which will be presented in the second half of 2016, is the first electrified minivan in the industry.

The vehicle is expected to deliver an estimated range of 30 miles with around 248 horsepower solely on zero-emissions electric power with a 16-kWh lithium-ion (Li-on) battery.

Read the entire article 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is company's first electrified minivan and promises 80 MPGe

The original minivan creator, FCA US LLC, has been delivering world class vehicles for the past 30 years. It continues that streak as customers can now enjoy new levels of functionality, technology, versatility and bold styling in the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.

Redefining the minivan segment, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica has received a transformation with many firsts along with 78 innovative additions throughout its previous five generations. The FCA US now has a total of 115 innovations in the minivan segment after it added 37 minivan firsts with the introduction of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.

The company used major re-engineering alterations from the ground up so as to produce a vehicle that offers a class-leading ride with handling and reduction of vibration, noise, and harshness (NVH). The minivan’s body is extremely light but it’s the stiffest amongst all in its class.

Read the entire article 2017 Chrysler Pacifica redefines minivan style

Nissan has revealed that it has priced the 2016 Nissan Quest, currently on sale at different Nissan dealers across the U.S. The 2016 Quest has a number of family-friendly features that include the Advanced Climate Control System and the one-touch power sliding doors.

It even has the fold-flat quick release feature for the 2nd and 3rd row seats. It goes without saying that its rear storage is always ready. There are also other enhancements on the 2016 Quest like the roof rails that have been added and are now standard equipment on the SV grade. Fuel economy is also improved and is now 27 mpg highway, 20 mpg city, and combined 23 mpg.

It will also be made available in four different models. 2016 Quest 3.5 S has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $26,530. The Quest 3.5 SV meanwhile comes at $30,490 while the Quest 3.5 SL is at $34,060.

Read the entire article 2016 Nissan Quest has a starting price of $26,530

Have you ever heard of a high-performance minivan? Well, people really don’t expect carmakers to come up with a product like that. But it’s not at all unusual for Toyota. At the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, Toyota turned that possibility into a reality by unveiling a high-performance Sienna show minivan, the Toyota Sienna R-Tuned concept.

This concept may change how people see the Sienna as an outstanding family hauler. They would begin to think that a vehicle like this could even go faster and look more menacing. To create the Toyota Sienna R-Tuned concept, Toyota Technical Center collaborated with performance shop DG-Spec.

Using a stock Sienna SE “Swagger Wagon,” they added a number of elements that would surely enhance the minivan’s performance -- double-adjustable shocks with racing springs, performance tires, wheels and brakes, and a clutch-type limited-slip differential.

Read the entire article Toyota launches high-performance Sienna R-Tuned minivan concept at 2015 SEMA Show

Mercedes-Benz is proud to unveil its latest concept car with Vision Tokyo. Much like its namesake city, it has a distinct atmosphere, gives us a feel of the future, and is huge structure-wise. Indeed, it is so progressive that it truly is befitting of the name.

While it allows autonomous driving, this five-seater is intelligent, versatile, and shows the continuing growth of the brand. It maintains the proud tradition of the brand when it comes to inventive designs.

This includes for example the Vision Ener-G-Force, which was shown in November 2012 at Los Angeles and the AMG Vision Gran Turismo during 2013 at Sunnyvale. This is the same principle that allowed the brand to exhibit the G-Code last November 2014 in Beijing.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz shows Vision Tokyo Concept at 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will soon start deliveries of its new Caravelle Generation Six special edition model. The new Caravelle Six Edition is priced from £52,051 (RRP OTR incl. VAT) and was designed to stand out from the crowd with its customized interior and exterior features.

It features a two-tone customized color theme composed of Cherry Red and Candy White. Inside the car, Volkswagen has installed a range of personalized fittings in addition to cutting edge technology and decorative inserts.

The bespoke exterior finish of the new Caravelle takes cues not only from the company’s popular circa-1960 camper van, but also from the more contemporary T6 Caravelle.

Read the entire article 2016 VW Caravelle Generation Six announced in the UK, priced from £52,051

BMW is widening its product range in China to 6 models to make sure that options are available to middle-class consumers who don’t have chauffeurs driving them around. The vehicles that will soon start production in China are the front-wheel drive 2-series Active Tourer minivan, a fwd sedan that falls below the 3 series (which will possibly have a 1 series badge), and a variant of the rwd/awd X3 compact SUV.

According to BMW’s China chief Karsten Engel, its top-seller is still the (China-only) long-wheelbase version of the 5 series, which makes up more than a third of its sales in China. Engel added that BMW has been attracting more new customers who drive their own cars. Local production of the 2-series AT will start next year.

A sedan will be next in 2017. Production for the X3 will be announced later. BMW’s factory is located in Tiexi, west of Shenyang in northeastern China. The 2-series AT and sedan will feature BMW’s new UKL fwd architecture that is shared with Mini. Tiexi opened in 2012 and produces the X1 compact SUV and the 3-series sedan in standard and long-wheelbase variants.

Read the entire article BMW adds minivan, sedan and SUV to lineup in China