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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Technology

Volt and Leaf, Meet The Competition: 2012 Ford Focus Electric Debut

On: Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 3:12PM | By: Chris Weiss

Volt and Leaf, Meet The Competition: 2012 Ford Focus Electric Debut test 1-1

As promised, Ford introduced the Focus Electric at an event at the Consumer Electronics Show on Friday. Ford's first all-electric passenger car will be available later this year, and is the first of five electric vehicles that Ford plans to release by 2013. Little was known about the drivetrain of the Focus Electric ahead of time, so Ford's event was really the first look. The Focus Electric is driven by a 100 kW electric motor powered by 23 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The motor gives the car 123 hp, 181 lb-ft and 84 mph. Ford hasn't provided a final range estimate, but indications are that it will be around 100 miles.

Updated: Ford Teases 2012 Focus Electric

On: Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 11:58PM | By: Chris Weiss

Updated: Ford Teases 2012 Focus Electric  test 1-1

2011 will undoubtedly turn out to be a year of green cars and concepts. And one of the first electric vehicles of the year will be Ford's first EV: the Focus Electric. Ford released a teaser picture of the Focus EV today, giving us a slight glimpse at the car, which it will debut this week.

Demonstrating the changing landscape of the automotive industry, Ford plans to introduce the Focus Electric, not at the Detroit Auto Show next week, but at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

As is usually the case, Ford's teaser picture doesn't show much, but it does show a charging port encircled by blue LED lights—should prove useful if you ever have to charge in complete darkness. Other than that, we see the requisite electric badging and a powder-blue exterior paint job.

Happy New Year, London: Jaguar C-X75 Comes to Town

On: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 2:10PM | By: Chris Weiss

Happy New Year, London: Jaguar C-X75 Comes to Town test 1-1

New York may have Times Square and the big ball, but London has something even more glamorous for New Year's: the Jaguar C-X75. One of the sexiest concept cars of the year, the Jaguar C-X75 spent the final days of 2010 in a London shop window. If you happen to be in the city, welcome in the new year by taking a trip to see one of the most advanced car concepts of 2010.

Ford Lets Parents Lock Out Satellite Stations With 'MyKey'

On: Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 3:40PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford Lets Parents Lock Out Satellite Stations With 'MyKey' test 1-1

Satellite radio is arguably one of the best innovations to come to vehicles in the past 10 years or so. Driving generally represents a solid block of time that you have to listen to music/news/talk. And what better way to do it than with commercial-free radio split neatly into specific genres?

Well, one negative about satellite radio is that it includes explicit stations that just aren't a part of broadcast radio—stations like Playboy Radio, for instance. And if you happen to have teen driving around, you may not want him to be tuning in to such explicit stations.

Ford has a new solution to the problem. Actually it's more of an old solution, tailored to vehicles: parental controls. Parents will soon be able to lock out certain stations as part of Ford's MyKey system.


Auto Safety Legislation Fails, Congress Goes on Vacation

On: Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 10:33AM | By: Chris Weiss

 Auto Safety Legislation Fails, Congress Goes on Vacation test 1-1

The auto safety legislation package created as a response to recent recall problems, specifically those by Toyota, failed to make it out of Congress before the holiday break. The legislation was the most comprehensive auto safety reform seen in years, but it sunk due to opposition.

More Official Pictures of Lotus' Concepts

On: Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 10:14AM | By: Chris Weiss

More Official Pictures of Lotus' Concepts test 1-1

At the Paris Motor Show, Lotus opened its floodgates and showed the world six brand-new concepts. The concepts were a look into the retooled future in Hethel, a future that will focus on hard-lined, performance-oriented super—and sports—cars, rather than the small, light, modestly powered two-seaters like the Elise and Exige models that have dominated Lotus offerings in the 21st century. At show time, we got to know each concept both inside and out.

If we had one complaint about Lotus concept barrage, it would have to be a few of the color choices. The dark green that coated the Esprit—the most anticipated of Lotus new models—just didn't quite accentuate its curves or good looks.

Luckily, Lotus has righted that small wrong, in releasing new photos of not only the Esprit, but also the new Elise, Elan, and Elite on its Facebook page. According to Autocar, the company will also update the page with new Eterne and City Car pictures in the near future, rounding out its six-car line-up.

Mileage Measurements for Hybrids May Confuse Consumers

On: Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 12:42PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Mileage Measurements for Hybrids May Confuse Consumers test 1-1

Hybrid vehicles are an increasing segment of the vehicle market today. It seems highly likely that over the course of the next few years, fully electric vehicles and vehicles that run on natural gas may also make their way into the marketplace.

There needs to be a congruent method for accounting for the cost and usage of energy required to operate various types of hybrid vehicles. More specifically, a system needs to be in place to allow for easy comparisons, to decrease confusion, and allow consumers to make informed decisions.

Brabus Tunes The Tesla Roadster

On: Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 11:19AM | By: Chris Weiss

Brabus Tunes The Tesla Roadster test 1-1

Brabus is a German tuning firm known for all kinds of tunes—some hot, some outrageous, and some just downright awful. This is the first time that I've personally ever seen the firm offer an electric tuning kit (though there are others). In fact, it's the first time I've seen a tuned electric vehicle, period. Without the benefit of turbocharging and other tricks often used by tuners on gas engines, Brabus focused its attention on one of the other important aspect of the Tesla Roadster: charging. In conjunction with German electric company RWE, the firm now offers the Green Package to Tesla owners.

Toyota, Daimler, and BMW May Use Laptop Batteries In EVs

On: Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 10:57AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota, Daimler, and BMW May Use Laptop Batteries In EVs test 1-1

Today, the question is no longer “who killed the electric car?” but “what is going to power the electric car?” Thanks to rising fuels costs and car owners' desire to reduce their own carbon footprints, electric vehicles have come back in a big way. As the demand for newer and better hybrid vehicles increases, so too does the need for more energy efficiency and lower costs. It all comes down to the issue of battery power. Now, the same battery cells used to power up your laptop are being adapted for electric cars, hopefully resulting in long lasting power and a potentially less expensive sticker price.

Audi R18 To Be Unveiled This Evening

On: Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 3:14PM | By: John Welch

Audi R 15 Plus test 2

The title for this post is slightly misleading. Currently, it is 6:39 p.m. in Ingolstadt, Germany, so you can apply the word 'evening' to whomever or whatever you would like. The important bit is this: Audi has completed work on its new Le Mans contender, the R18, and it is a radical departure from the last three Audi prototypes. The R10 was a success, but according to Audi driver Frank Beila, "(the R10) handles like a truck."

The R15 was so bad (again, 'bad' is a relative term, it was bad only when compared with the equally stunning Peugeot 908; the R15 squished all other LMP1 machines underneath its toothy fascia) that it 'required' an update after only one season . . . a seaon made up of only three races. The R15 Plus was an improvement, shifting away from the crazy aero-backfires that plagued the original R15, but still was not on par with the 908. This doesn't sit well with AudiSport, a team that is very used to winning everything. They want to crush the French badly, and believe that they have found the most effective solution within the ACO's new set of Le Mans protocols.

UPDATE: Official Audi Press Release inside the post . . .

Safe Supercar: Lexus LFA To Sport Inflatable Seat Belts

On: Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 5:44PM | By: Chris Weiss

Safe Supercar: Lexus LFA To Sport Inflatable Seat Belts test 1-1

Usually we look to supercars for huge engines, unbelievable top speeds, and sheer, tire-scorching performance. Not safety innovations or interior options. But buyers of the $375,000 Lexus LFA will find those latter qualities with their purchase. The Japanese luxury arm of Toyota will offer inflatable seat belts in its supercar beginning with the 2012 model year.