Wednesday, June 30, 2010

GM To begin 70 New or Refreshed Models Worldwide by 2014

GM says it will initiate 70 new and refreshed models around the globe in the next four years. The Chevrolet brand will boast 13 of those models worldwide. Eighty percent of all GM vehicles will be based on worldwide platforms by 2014.

DETROIT — Look for a slew of new or reorganized models in the coming years and less reliance on trucks, General Motors said yesterday in a marathon gathering with the bank and investment-community analysts. GM hopes to convince Wall Street that it is prepared to have another go at being a openly held operation — rather than the "Government Motors" of today that is 60 percent owned by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

GM spoke about future product largely in relation to how the new metal will increase the company's bottom line, but was short on specifics, saying primarily that GM plans to launch 70 new or refreshed models around the globe by 2014. And perhaps unfortunately for American shoppers, a lot of those will be in markets outside the U.S., where GM projects most of its expansion in the next four years.

In the U.S., though, expect GM to dedicate less to trucks and put on a major push to construct midcycle refreshes (the term "face-lift" is falling out of fashion) more "impactful," according to product-development boss Tom Stephens.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Honda to manufacture the cheapest hybrid car on the market

The innovative hybrid car from Honda Motor Co. will be priced one fifth less than the cheapest hybrid in Japan, according to the Nikkei business daily.

With a price tag of around 1.5 million yen ($16,570), this latest car will be the cheapest hybrid in Japan when it goes on sale this autumn. This move is observed by many to make hybrids to be low profit margin models for carmakers. Honda’s new hybrid car will be priced about 400,000 yen lesser than the Insight, another hybrid car that Honda has in its lineup. The new hybrid will cost 200,000 yen greater than Honda’s gasoline-powered Fit compact car.

Yoshihiko Tabei, an analyst at Kazaka Securities, said that the lower prices benefit consumers but are not excellent for shareholders. He explained that since the price is lower than what the market had estimated, this could effect to a price war with Toyota Motor Corp., placing both carmakers at a disadvantage when compared with those who only concentrate on gasoline-powered models that have higher margins.

He revealed that Toyota has only started enjoying profits on the Prius and Honda is “barely making profits” on the Insight. Honda’s fresh hybrid car will be based on the Fit and will have core components that are shared with the Insight.

As a result, Honda’s development costs are abridged. The Nikkei report also revealed that this new car can go 30 kilometers on a liter of gasoline, compared with the Fit’s 24 kilometers per liter. This price war between Honda and Toyota has gotten poorer since February 2009, when Honda debuted its Insight hybrid and Toyota instantly followed with the launch of its cheapest-ever Toyota Prius hybrid.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Gordon Murray discloses T25 three-seat city car

Designer Gordon Murray added fame for his pen that drew the McLaren F1 and the Mercedes McLaren SLR super cars. Now, he's shifting gears to incredible greener.

Murray has pulled the wraps off his T25 city car, following hinting at its design for the improved part of two years.

The T25 is lesser than a Smart ForTwo or the Toyota iQ, which we'll see in the United States soon as a Scion.

How diminutive is the T25? It measures just 94.5 inches lengthy. If you park it perpendicular to the curb, three will fit in one normal-size parking space.

Yet it has seats for three people and only a single door, which comprises the windshield and side glass, and it, pivots near the front of the car.

A 660-cc, three-cylinder engine is accumulated in the rear. It pumps out 51 hp, which will acquire the T25 up to a top speed of 90 mph. Fuel economy is likely to be about 74 mpg.

Murray said he expect to have the car set for production in about two years.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Small Is the innovative Big at Ford

Ford is gambling small cars have big appeal with consumers.

The company that became synonymous with trucks and SUVs is shaking things up with a move toward slighter, more fuel efficient cars. The showpiece of the campaign is the 2011 Ford Fiesta, which is smaller than anything we’ve seen out of Dearborn in years. It’s part of CEO Alan Mullaly’s push to boost fuel efficiency, a campaign that comprises putting smaller engines in lighter cars.

Ford rolled into Manhattan with a Fiesta to show everybody how cool it is to Go Small and Live Large and show small is the new big. Ford is hardly alone in beating this drum. General Motors is placing a huge bet with the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and next-gen Chevrolet Aveo, for example. Both companies are competing against cars similar to the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, two mainstays of the segment.

However while small cars are big in Europe — where one-third of all vehicles sold is a compact — they’re so popular here in the states. That’s varying; J.D. Power & Associates says compacts and subcompacts, which included 21 percent of the domestic market five years ago, will hit 35 percent by 2013.

Beyond providing consumers with the performance they anticipate — and the numbers Ford desires to meet tightening fuel economy regulations — Ford says the engines are more cost-effective. They also give an alternative to consumers who might want an eco-friendlier car but don’t desire to spend the added cash for gas-electric like the Fusion Hybrid.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

2011 Honda Accord acquires styling tweaks, more gas mileage

Honda now dropped a release into Drive On's Inbox saying the 2011 Accord, due in showrooms mid-August will have interior and exterior tweaks and a new mid-lineup Special Edition (SE) model, will keep on to have a coupe as well as sedan and, unlike some mid-sizers, still will offer a V-6 as well as a 4.

Better aerodynamics, engine friction improvements and restacked transmission gear ratios increased the EPA fuel-economy ratings for Accord 4-cylinder sedans with automatic by 2 mpg to 23 in the city and by 3 mpg to 34 on the highway.

Erik Berkman, vp of corporate planning and logistics for American Honda Motor said, For 2011, the Accord evolves once more with sharpened styling inside and out, fuel economy gains and a broader application of admired features.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Toshiba to expand Houston factory to make electric vehicle motors

Electronics company Toshiba Corporation said it will expand its manufacturing plant in Houston, Texas, to make drive motors for electrified vehicles.

The company said the project would mean setting up its initial automotive propulsion systems production facility outside its native Japan.

At present, it produces systems in Mie Prefecture on Japan’s Honsh? island.

The expansion in Houston comes behind the company won a contract to supply propulsion systems for the Ford Motor Company.

From 2012, Toshiba will make propulsion motors in Houston for hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles and electric vehicles, it said yesterday.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

XV describes crossover Impreza

Subaru has done it by its Legacy - so why not with Impreza? Rob Maetzig drives an attractive new addition to the Impreza lineup, the XV.

Years ago - in 1995, in fact - Subaru made a large move to counter slumping sales in North America by pioneered a sport utility version of its Legacy wagon, called Outback.

The intention behind development of the vehicle was so it could compete in the SUV segment of that country's new car market, which was rapidly growing.

That model proved an achievement, and these days latest-generation Outbacks and Foresters continue to play a main role in Subaru's overall sales.

And now Subaru has taken this complete one step further with introduction of a crossover version of the Impreza hatchback. It's called the Impreza XV - as in Crossover Vehicle - and once again it is the result of Subaru doing accurately what it did with that original Outback: bolstered the suspension, increased the ride height, and added some defensive cladding around the lower body.

It's an interesting car, because of all the Subaru crossovers and SUVs on the market, this is more of a standard vehicle than several of them.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

London business fleet users to check out Toyota plug-in hybrid cars

London business fleet users are to test out Prius plug-in hybrid cars as division of a three-year lease demonstration programme launched today by Toyota and EDF Energy.

The programme will see 20 Prius plug-in vehicles join the vehicle fleets of five businesses and public organisations and get to the streets of London from July 2010.

EDF Energy will bring the charging points at workplaces, on-street and at domestic locations.

The businesses and organizations taking division in the scheme are News International, Sky, Transport for London, the Government Car and Dispatch Agency and the Metropolitan Police Service.

The demonstration programme is part of the Technology Strategy Board’s £25 million national Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator Programme (ULCVDP) and the data collected from it will offer Toyota, EDF Energy and the UK Government with in order on user behavior and attitudes, vehicle performance and energy recharging and infrastructure issues.

Today’s plug-in demonstration is one of eight captivating place across the UK through the ULCVDP. Last week, the UK’s major trial of electric vehicles (EVs) by the CABLED consortium in the West Midlands released data that seemed to confirm that most drivers will not require altering their normal daily driving behavior to accommodate low carbon transport.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

In my estimation: 2011 BMW Frozen Gray M3 Coupe


  • Only 30 limited-edition Frozen Gray M3 coupes will be done for the U.S. market.
  • They will obtain a special paint scheme, M3 Competition package as well as other distinct features.
  • Delivery of the first batch will start in June, and priced around $79,000.
  • The purchase price will moreover have track time at the BMW Performance Driving School.
BMW is building an imperfect run of 30 2011 Frozen Gray M3 coupes for the U.S. market, priced at $78,900. The sticker comprises shipping and a $1,300 gas-guzzler tax.

BMW’s limited-edition model symbols the 25th anniversary of the M3. The M3 began production in Germany in 1986 and didn’t attain our shores until 1988. The most modern model was launched in 2008.

The BMW engineered matte paint on the Frozen Gray M3 provides it a special metallic luster. This is believed to give the M3 a sculpted character the Frozen Gray effect is supposed to highlight the contours and give it a more athletic exterior compared to normal exterior colors with gloss finish.

BMW said it will start taking customer orders by phone (800-245-4269) at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, June 21. The first cars will be delivered in late June, and the production run will stop in late July.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Zero Race challengers to Circle Globe Emissions-Free

In most races, drivers are planning for the big numbers–like, say, 150 miles per hour, or ten gazillion dollars in prize money. This race–planned to really circumnavigate the globe–is going for the least possible number: zero (as in, emissions).

Of course, there are some pretty big numbers concerned with the Zero Race, as well–exclusively, 18,641 miles, through 20 countries, with 150 major cities along the way–all under taken by electric vehicles, solar cars, and other green vehicles.

The starting flag drops on this “race around the world” on August 15th of this year in Geneva; organizers expect the circuit to be finished in 80 days, excluding maritime crossings, finishing up in Geneva in January 2011. According to Gizmag, the affair is being directed by Louis Palmer, the first man to circumnavigate the globe in a solar car.

The Zero Race also has a handle on the big picture, in terms of carbon emissions–meaning that entrants can’t just claim zero-emissions status because they’re running an electric engine; they have to produce the electricity used from clean sources, as well.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Renault Modus honored 'Best Small MPV' In Green Car Awards for the Third Year Running

Recognition for Renault’s environmental commitment persists with yet another accolade, as Modus wins the ‘Small MPV’ category in the Environmental Transport.

The Environmental Transport Association looked at over 5,000 cars at present on sale in Britain and examined their power, emissions, fuel efficiency and even the amount of noise they make to create the definitive guide to buying the greenest vehicle.

Andrew Davis, director at the Environmental Transport Association, said: With the price of petrol at record levels and greater considerate about the threat to the environment there has never been a more significant time to make fuel efficiency a deciding factor when choosing a car.

Renault’s Modus and Grand Modus range has a sturdy focus on low emissions and economy with 18 eco² versions.

Roland Bouchara, Managing Director, Renault UK said, we are charmed to receive recognition for our environmental commitment particularly from such an important organization as the Environmental Transport Association. Modus and Grand Modus winning the Small MPV category in the Green Car Awards for the third year running is a immense achievement.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lamborghini is the slightest environmentally friendly car

Its CO2 emissions would be the equivalent of felling a football pitch-sized forest of trees every year, according to the Environmental Transport Association (ETA).

Over a year of driving, the 99g/km Toyota iQ emits CO2 equivalent to that engrossed by three tennis courts of forest.

The ETA inspected more than 5,000 models of car and compared their power, emissions, fuel efficiency and the amount of noise they produce, in order to assist consumers choose the greenest vehicles.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Classic luxury car convenes aerospace tech and recycled aluminum construction

Jaguar is making a distinct effort to refresh its old English image with the foreword of the 2011 XJ, the luxury carmaker's flagship model. Constructed from 50 percent recycled aluminum, the XJ is something of a lightweight compared to earlier iterations.

It’s riveted and glue-bonded unibody—derived from aerospace technology—creates for a lighter weight skin than steel without compromising safety, increasing the vehicle's efficiency tenfold. The use of aluminum keeps six tons of carbon per vehicle over its lifetime.

In the future, Jaguar aims to raise the ratio of recycled aluminum to 75 percent. The greener engineering is in line with the XJ's legacy of performance.

While the 2011 XJ has been turning heads in Los Angeles for a three-month long City Takeover, the company also engaged in an effort to recognize the waste that each vehicle spawns. Starting at $72,500, the new XJ series will be offered this fall.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

At AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, Test ride the Can-Am Spyder roadster

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is pleased to publicize that a fleet of Can-Am Spyder roadsters, the unique three-wheeled vehicle offered by Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), will be available for demo rides at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days this July 9-11 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

These Can-Am Spyder demo vehicles will comprise both the Spyder RS and the Spyder RT. The Spyder RT is the company’s latest touring model for 2010.

We enjoy getting out and seeing as many riders as probable across the United States with our demo tour, said BRP’s Chaz Rice, manager, media and public relations, Can-Am.

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is immense way to do that, as well as celebrate motorcycling history. Our Can-Am products assisted write some of U.S. off-road racing history in the 1970s and early 1980s, and it’s exciting to not only reacquaint ourselves to that past but initiate attendees to the future of Can-Am: the Can-Am Spyder roadster.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Daimler to deploy 250 electric Smart cars in US cities this plunge

Motor manufacturer Daimler will commence its electric micro-car, the Smart ForTwo, in the United States this fall.

The company is aiming to catch the newest urban trend for cleaner transport in urban areas with a roll-out of 250 electric vehicles in select regions of the country in October.

The Smart car is being dispersed via Smart USA, a subsidiary of auto dealers Penske Automotive Group, Inc., headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

The vehicle will look precisely the same as its combustion engine counterpart – 8.8 feet long, 5.1 feet tall and 5.1 feet wide – a vehicle that was originally designed with an ultimate move to an electric powertrain in mind.

Powered by a 30kW motor and a 16.5kWh lithium-ion battery, the Smart ForTwo electric car will have a range of 82 miles on a distinct charge.

The vehicle will take three and a half hours to charge from 20% to 80% capacity with a normal 220V electrical outlet, eight hours for a full charge.

The battery can be charged using ordinary household 110V outlet, Daimler said.

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Hydrogen-fuelled cars hit British streets in first main trial of green technology

A super-green pollution-free car that sprints on hydrogen is to be tested by the public on British roads for the first time.

The two seater car uses a hydrogen fuel-cell to produce electricity to drive its electric motors.

Thirty of the cars, which have a peak speed of 50mph and have a range of 240 miles on one tank of hydrogen, will be leased to 30 'guinea-pig' motorists in Leicester from spring 2012.

A similar trial is predictable to take place with another 30 drivers in Oxford. The two-seater urban car hastens from 0-30mph in 5.5 seconds and does the petrol-equivalent of 300 miles per gallon.

It has been developed by diminutive British manufacturer Riversimple based in Ludlow, Shropshire.

If the trials are victorious, the company will consider building a factory in Leicester which would utilize 250 people and manufacture 5,000 of the cars each year.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sub-brand Mercedes-Benz Style open for business

Gorden Wagener has been on a mission to carry some of the lost sparkle back to Mercedes-Benz cars ever since he was promoted to vice president of design in 2008. The 42-year old was promoted from head of strategic complex design to replace Peter Pfeiffer, who had been in the post for 30 years.

Gorden Wagener studied industrial design in Essen and transport design at the Royal College of Art. He has spent the most excellent part of his working life at Mercedes, working his way up from head of exterior and interiors to advanced design, overseeing cars such as the A, B, C, E, CLK and CLS - the bulk of the modern Mercedes range.

Since his promotion, he has introduced a complicated selection of production cars and prototypes, most especially the 'gullwing' SLS AMG, and the F800 and Shooting Break concepts - the latter previewing the much predictable CLS replacement to be unveiled in Paris in September 2010.

Wagener's latest announcement, though has been a new sub-brand - Mercedes-Benz Style - which will design bespoke luxury products outside the automotive field: from aircrafts to yachts, furniture and more. We caught up with him to see what he tactics to attain with Style, and discuss his thoughts on Mercedes-Benz car design.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2011 Suzuki Swift Busted

The 2011 Suzuki Swift has been captured obvious in Hungary on the back of a car carrier.

A massive oversight by the transport company has seen the 2011 Suzuki Swift exposed ahead of its anticipated public debut at the Paris Motor Show.

Suzuki is expected to reveal the car to the public ahead of the Paris Motor Show, with official sales starting soon after the motor show.

A Renault Megane style rear end has been employed to assist the Swift meet stringent crash test standards. While front-on photos haven’t yet been captured, the 2011 Suzuki Swift is expected to look alike to the Kizashi, keeping on with its sporty and young theme.

Reports propose the 2011 Suzuki Swift will feature both petrol and diesel engines, making the Swift a revived competitor for the small car market segment.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Four wounded, Three Transported in Two-Car Accident

On Saturday, June 5, at approximately 9:20 p.m., units from Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department and Prince Frederick Rescue Squad reacted to report of an auto accident along Route 231 near Thunder Hill Drive in Prince Frederick.

Upon arrival, units exposed multiple injuries stemming from a two-car accident. After preliminary assessment of the crash victims, units requested four ambulances. One patient rated as serious – life threatening, two were checked and classified as critical – not life intimidating and the fourth crash victim received slight injuries not requiring transport.

Three of the collapse victims were transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital in ambulances from Prince Frederick, Benedict and Huntingtown.

No word yet on the reason of the crash. Maryland State Police persists to investigate.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Miracle flee for driver after 18-ton lorry topples onto his car

A terrified motorist walked away unharmed after an 18-ton lorry fell onto his car after ploughing into a blackspot bridge.

The truck toppled on to the Vauxhall Astra estate after crash into Fairlop Station bridge in Forest Road, Barkingside, Essex. A shocked passer-by was unusually the only casualty as he fled the accident and ran into a wall.

Cops and firefighters dashed to the scene and were astonished as the shell-shocked car driver walked away from the dramatic crash without any injuries.

He was forced to scramble out of the front passenger door after the lorry plunged transversely his side of the car roof and bonnet.

A Met Police spokesman said the man was in a state of stun but unharmed. The spokesman said: He had just dropped off his partner at the station and was about to drive away as the lorry landed on his roof.

The bridge is at an angle and the lorry hit the defense barrier which made it tip over. Minor damage was caused and the road was closed until the lorry was curved upright at about 12pm.

He said the stunned lorry driver was unfamiliar with the monster vehicle and didn't understand it was too tall to fit under the bridge.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tata Motors open new factory for world’s cheapest car

Tata Motors' Nano will formally roll off on Wednesday from the Sanand plant in Gujarat, opening a new chapter in its history. The production at the Gujarat plant will start nearly two years after it was enforced to shift the manufacturing plant of its dream car following a land row in West Bengal.

Spread over an area of about 1,100 acres, the new Sanand facility has been produced at the cost of approximately Rs 2,000 crore.

The Sanand facility has the capacity to manufacture 2.5 lakh units annually, which can afterward be increased to 5 lakh units per annum.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cheapest car Nano rolls out of Sanand plant

Nearly two years after it was enforced to shift its Nano plant over a land row in West Bengal, Tata Motors will start the production of the Nano from its new unit at Sanand in Gujarat. Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata recognized the role played by the Gujarat government in the helping put up the plant in record time.

Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons, said, I hope in the years to come what we have planted here in terms of our endeavor, will see the product of Sanand and of this state on the streets and roads of India, giving the people of India the possibility to have personal transport, knowing that Gujarat is home to such an important and far reaching investment.

On May 27, Reuters reported that Tata Motors beat market estimates with a surge in March quarter earnings, fuelled by growing sales and enhanced profitability at its Jaguar and Land Rover unit. The company earned Rs 2,228 crore (USD 471 million) in the three months ended March 31, based on Reuters calculations after it posted full-year profit of Rs 2,571 crore contrasted with a net loss of Rs 2,505 crore reported a year ago.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Electric vehicle presents powerful acceleration

The Tecnalia Technological Corporation has built a completely electric car that can reach 140 kilometers per hour in 10 seconds.

The two-seater car is supported on a single-shell, rigid, lightweight chassis of steel and aluminium alloy, with an adaptable deformable parallelogram suspension system for the four wheels.

It has a peak power of 100kW supplied by a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor, a total weight of 700kg and an energy storage capacity of 15kWh.

It's been built to permit the installation of a battery or small internal combustion engine to extend its range - around 70km at present.

Acceleration from 0 to 100kmh is under 5.7 seconds, and peak speed is around 140kmh, reaching this figure in 10 seconds.

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