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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Technology

Flying Car Gets A Couple Thumbs Up From Government

On: Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 9:18AM | By: Chris Weiss

Terrafugia Flying Car test 2

Look outside your window onto any crowded street or city sidewalk and you'll see throngs of disappointed adults. They may not show it on their faces at all times; they may even appear happy and jovial. But don't be fooled; they're disappointed deep down.

Thanks to cartoons and television programs like The Jetsons, these adults grew up with expectations of driving around skyways in flying vehicles. Not planes, but flying cars that could replace slower, more tedious ground driving. And, as of the year 2011, not so much as a single, multi-million-dollar flying car-for-the-stars exists.

Europe's First EV Battery Switch Station

On: Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 4:17PM | By: Chris Salamone

Better Place Switchable Battery Station test 2

I recently stumbled upon an article from a San Antonio-based newspaper which claimed that electric vehicles could never be commercially viable until range length could be improved. More specifically, the author had trouble making his daily commute to work in a Nissan Leaf. Although not every state has the same breath of roadways, EVs in general really need to reach beyond 100 or 200 miles before the average US consumer is willing to make the switch from gasoline to electric and give the boot to range anxiety. It’s already scary enough not hearing the rumbling and roaring of a V8 beneath the hood. Losing precious miles, in addition to throaty exhaust, makes an unlikely success out of the emerging EV market. However, range concerns are being dealt a swift kick to the vitals with Europe’s newest EV innovation—the switchable battery station.

Rolls Royce 102EX: Not Good Enough For Production, But Still Pimpin'

On: Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 8:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

Rolls Royce 102EX  test 2

The Rolls Royce 102EX may be the lamest of lame ducks, after Rolls announced that it will not be developing an electric vehicle in the near future, but it's still going to be a presence on the world concept circuit. Rolls engineers are still testing the 102EX, and Rolls PR folks will be transporting the car in continuance of its world tour.

Tech-Ghost Riding Now Legal in Nevada

On: Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 9:57AM | By: Chris Weiss

Tech-Ghost Riding Now Legal in Nevada test 1-1

Not only can you play every betting game known to man and have relations with a street walker in the same night in Nevada, now you can legally ghost ride. Okay, it's not exactly classic ghost riding where you climb out of a moving car and dance like a fool on the hood or roof, but the effect is the same: empty driver's seat, moving car. After some hard lobbying by Google, the Nevada state legislature passed Bill 511, which legalizes certain self-driven cars on roadways. Google will now be able to test its fleet of advanced, autonomous cars.


Transportation Secretary LaHood Says "It's Not Necessary!"

On: Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 2:38PM | By: Chris Weiss

Transportation Secretary LaHood Says test 2

You don't have to be the #1 transportation authority in the United States to know that in-vehicle Facebook and Twitter are big, unnecessary advances with "potential devestating danger" written all over them. But it's nice to have him on your side.

Ever since I saw the first mention of Facebook in a car, I've been pretty fearful of the future of our roadways. What we need is fewer distractions in cars, not more distractions with possibly safer, definitely more complicated and technological form factors. We need people focusing on road signs and surrounding traffic, not on the latest viral video or "breaking" friend news. Unfortunately, the auto industry seems determined to ride the popularity of social media in selling cars. At least Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is on our team.

LaHood told the Wall Street Journal in a succinct, definitive statement: "There's absolutely no reason for any person to download their Facebook into the car. It's not necessary."

2011 VW POLO BlueMotion: Embrace Your Inner Diesel

On: Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 10:37AM | By: Clay Ritchings

2011 VW POLO BlueMotion test 2

We have all seen the rise in popularity of such cars as the Prius, Toyota's stab at a fuel efficient eco-friendly car that, because of a drag coefficiency, has a “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” label attached. Let us not forget the Honda Insight; actually produced and available to the public way before Toyota pumped out any Prius from their factories. These are two examples among many Hybrid vehicles available today that squeeze as many miles out of a gallon of gas as technically possible and reign champions to the penny pinching public… that was until the VW Polo BlueMotion came along.

The Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion (BlueMotion is VW’s name for its line of hyper-frugal diesel vehicles) and is simply one of the most efficient cars on the market today.

Young UK Driver's Get Incentive-Based Auto Insurance

On: Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 3:52PM | By: Chris Salamone

ncentive-Based Auto Insurance  test 2

Ah, to be young again. To arrive two hours early at the DMV on your birthday, only to discover that an ‘appointment’ really means waiting in an identically-long line with people who just walked in. Or perhaps, to pay your first car insurance bill only to discover that you’re paying far more than Grandpa McGregor who can’t see past his nose hair. These are just some of the trials and tribulations associated with new drivers in the United States. Yet, in the United Kingdom, the Co-Operative Insurance Company has debuted a revolutionary incentive-based program which hopes to award young drivers for good behavior: Smartbox.

The "Improved" Volt Goes On Sale In All 50 States (Enthusiasm Remains Limited To Two)

On: Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 2:44PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

Hooray! Yippee! Wow… oh, forget it.

Look GM, I tried REALLY hard to be enthusiastic for you now that your 2012 Volt sparkwagon can be ordered—and presumably taken home and kept—by folks in all 50 states.

And giving it a “starting” price of $39,995—or “$32,495 assuming a full federal tax credit of $7,500, which is subject to the customer’s eligibility”—including an “$850 destination freight charge but excludes tax, title and license fees” which is “$1,000 below the price of the 2011 model”… Stop! You are literally killing me here with your number-laden caveat-fest.

And therein lay my problem with the Volt: NOTHING can be easily and/or clearly be said about it without an explain-o-page full of notes attached. Well, I’m gonna go ahead and translate your press release MY way, asterisks be damned (except for one).

Apple's Iron Fist Gets It Right: No More DUI Checkpoint Apps On iTunes

On: Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 4:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

DUI Checkpoint Apps on iTunes test 2

I can't say I'm the biggest Apple fan. The company just tries to exert way too much control over its products, third-party developers building software for its products, and its customers. Imagine if your computer came from the store with all kinds of websites disabled, limiting what you could access on the Internet. In my opinion, people should be able to make decisions as to what content they can access on their own equipment.

But Apple has always maintained tight control over applications that run on the iPhone and iPad, famously banning all porn-y apps from the App Store. It reviews each app one by one, and then decides whether or not it's appropriate for the App Store—the only place to buy apps for Apple products. A little overbearing, to say the least.

Ford To Offer Turbo V-4 On Mustang?

On: Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 9:14AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford To Offer Turbo V-4 On Mustang test 2

Chevy may not be the only U.S. automaker looking to smaller, turbocharged engines for its muscle icon. According to Motor Authority, Ford is considering shrinking its base Mustang engine to a turbocharged four-cylinder. Like Chevy, though, Ford doesn't plan on abandoning Mustang purists and will offer a range of engine options, including the Mustang GT's 5.0-liter V8. 

According to MotorAuthority's report, Ford will use a 2.3-liter version of its turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four in the next-generation Mustang beginning around 2015. There's no word on what the output of that engine will look like at this early stage in the game.

GM Cancels Plans For Luxury Plug-In Hybrid

On: Sat, May 28, 2011 at 10:25AM | By: Tim Healey

GM Cancels Plans For Luxury Plug-In Hybrid test 1-1

Sources are telling Automotive News that General Motors will drop plans to build a luxury plug-in hybrid using the Cadillac SRX crossover's platform. Apparently, the reason for the decision is that the company felt that the project was not financially viable.

The plan could be restarted using another platform, but sources told Automotive News that the engineers have been reassigned to other projects.