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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Technology

Google Designs Cars That Drive Themselves

On: Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 12:07PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Google Designs Cars That Drive Themselves test 1-1

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have recently joined forces with Google to build a fleet of robotic vehicles that can literally drive themselves. The vehicles have already negotiated traffic for 140,000 miles with absoluelty no human intervention.

Google is exploring the possibilities of cars that can make complex decisions using artificial intelligence software to navigate themselves. Seven vehicles have traveled over 1,000 miles each in just a weekend without any intervention from a driver. Of course, there are drivers behind the wheel prepared to take over if necessary. There is also a technician passenger present to ensure that the navigation system is working properly, but so far the vehicles have done all the driving, even on steep hills with sharp switchbacks.

Lamborghini Unveils Its New Range-Topping Powertrain

On: Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 5:52PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lamborghini Unveils Its New Range-Topping Powertrain test 1-1

We may not know all there is to know about the upcoming Jota quite yet. In fact, we don't even know if it will be called the Jota any more. But we now have the full details on what will power Lamborghini's next halo. The company has revealed its new V12 powertrain.

Ferrari World Coming To A City Near You?

On: Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 10:56AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari World Coming To A City Near You?  test 1-1

Last month, Ferrari World, the new Ferrari theme park in Abu Dhabi, opened its doors for the very first time, welcoming an inaugural period that will run through this month. An official grand opening ceremony is scheduled for November 30, and the world will officially have the Disney World of fast cars with prancing horse hood ornaments. It's about damn time.

Now I'm not sure about our average reader, but I know that I don't have a trip to Abu Dhabi planned anytime soon. And as much of a draw as Ferrari World is, I just don't see myself heading in that direction in the near future. But, if there happened to be a Ferrari World a little closer to home, it would definitely make my vacation short list. And according to news reports, Ferrari is already in the process of building a theme park empire.

Chevrolet Makes a Comeback to Indy Car Racing

On: Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 3:57PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Chevrolet Makes a Comeback to Indy Car Racing test 1-1

Chevrolet is preparing to make a come-back to Indy Car Racing in 2012, interrupting Honda‘s monopoly on producing engine supplies for the American racing series.

Chevrolet is expected to partner with Ilmor Engineering, one of the most successful race-engine design and manufacturing firms in the world, to develop a high performance twin-turbo V6 engine. The Izod Indy Car Series plans to discontinue using V8s and move toward utilizing smaller four and six cylinder engines, beginning in 2012.


Tesla Plans For Global Growth

On: Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 4:33PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Tesla Plans For Global Growth test 1-1

Elon Musk, CEO of electric sports car maker Tesla Motors Inc., said Friday that he expects Japan to become the company's largest market outside of the U.S. Musk also predicted that the niche luxury auto maker's U.S. customer base will expand steadily overseas, and the goal is that sales will be evenly split between the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

"We do believe Japan will be our No. 2 country in terms of sales, over time," Musk said, speaking at a joint press conference with the CEO of Toyota Motor Corp. "Japan is a key market for the kind of product we produce," he added. The first Asian Tesla showroom was opened in Tokyo as Musk announced plans to enter the European market with dealerships in Paris, London, and Monaco.

No Surprises: Bugatti Veyron Is EPA's Worst Car

On: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 4:28PM | By: Chris Weiss

No Surprises: Bugatti Veyron Is EPA's Worst Car test 1-1

The Environmental Protection Agency has put together its lists of the most and least efficient cars of 2011, a list that has few, if any, surprises. While the top and bottom vehicles aren't that surprising,  there's been at least one shake-up in the numbers.

It should be no surprise that the 2011 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is the least efficient car in America with an abysmal 8 mpg city and 15 mpg highway. That designation comes even though the Veyron actually added one mpg worth of efficiency on the highway for the 2011 model year. What's more surprising is that the 1,000-hp, 16-cylinder Veyron is a new list-topper. One might have thought it was there all along, but it actually took the retirement of the previous champion to put the Veyron into first. The Lamborghini Murcielago was previously at the bottom of the rung with its 8/13 mpg rating. Lamborghini may be out this year, but the 700-hp Jota promises to put it back on the map in the years to come.

Chevy To Return To IndyCar In 2012?

On: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 10:45AM | By: John Welch

Chevy To Return To IndyCar In 2012? test 1-1

Honda has been the sole supplier of engines to the IRL and Izod IndyCar Series (same thing) since Chevrolet dropped out in 2005. The racing has been reliable, but boring. This morning it is expected that GM will return to open-wheel racing and field a new twin-turbo V6 for IndyCar teams in 2012. It is also expected that Roger Penske will be the first to use the Chevy power train, putting Chevrolet in a good position to win races quickly.

2012 will be the first IICS season run under a new rules package that does away with the current Dallara chassis; replacing it with a . . . Dallara chassis. The Series directors have taken an "open source" approach to the is new chassis however. The basic safety cell, or monocoupe, in each car will be identical, but the aero bits we can actually see are all fair game for designers. Dallara offers an low-cost entry kit; Group Lotus has already signed on to manufacturer a kit for the Dallara, and it is reasonable to think that Penske and Ganassi will both create their own kits. Engine size is limited to 2.4 liters, and can be a four- or six-cylinder design.

Watch the official announcement at 10 am EST at SPEEDtv.com. More from us after Chevrolet becomes the second Izod IndyCar Series engine supplier for 2012.

Mustang Boss 302 Offers New Track Mode Feature

On: Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 4:57PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Mustang Boss 302 Offers New Track Mode Feature test 1-1

Ford announced that the company will be offering an innovative “TracKey option” for the new 2012 Mustang Boss 302. The TracKey will shift the powertrain module into a software system that will enable 200 separate settings from the sports car’s street mode settings. Mustang Boss now offers full race calibration and two-stage launch control, as well as stock calibration.

The TracKey software is installed as an option after the Boss is purchased. The dual-path powertrain control module (PCM) is accessed by a specially programmed vehicle key. The new code coexists with stock Boss software, allowing drivers to choose between street or track use simply by selecting a key.

Opel Ampera: Meet Volt's Attractive German Step-Sister

On: Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 4:26PM | By: John Welch

Opel Ampera: Meet Volt's Attractive German Step-Sister test 1-1

The Chevrolet Volt is cool enough on its own, any vehicle as complicated and well executed as the Volt would have to be, at least, sort of cool. But it could be sooo much cooler. It could look like a DTM car, it could look like a rocketship, it could look like the Opel Ampera.

The Ampera is the Volt, just draped in stylish Germanic sheetmetal. The wheels are slick, the headlight treatment divine. Around back, the Volt's taillights are in place, but there are vents and curves not seen on Volt flanks. It makes the Volt look less like a Prius. I understand the need for differentiation between markets, but c'mon . . . This is the difference between the Ford Mondeo and the Ford Contour. The Holden Commodore and the Pontiac G8. The Honda Civic Type R and Si. The Sierra and XR4Ti . . . the Euro version is better.

Pricing on the old continent is a little difficult to pin down. We pay $41,000 dollars, before tax credits and other incentives for the Volt. The Opel Ampera could be as much as 42,900 euros, but countries such as Germany offer their own discounts. Some, again, like Germany, are substantial. A German Ampera could dip as low as 36,000 euros. Look for the little Opel's to dot the old country by the thousands by the end of 2011. This is probably the last time we will mention the Ampera so you'll find a proper image gallery inside the post.

Volkswagen Working on Ice/Fog-Free Windshield

On: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 4:49PM | By: Chris Weiss

Volkswagen Working on Ice/Fog-Free Windshield  test 1-1

The rate at which companies solve problems that don't really exist while leaving much more pressing problems untouched has always perplexed me. In vehicles, for instance, we have cushy options like heated seats, lumbar support, and cruise control, while more basic, important problems remain completely unaddressed.

Volkswagen is taking a slightly different approach, addressing an elemental vehicle problem. Its technology won't be nearly as cool or flashy as heated memory seats, but it could prove much more useful to actually driving. The automaker is working on an ice-free, fog-free windshield coating that could eliminate two of the most irritating visibility impediments on the modern automobile.

London Set to Take a Lead In EV Charging Infrastructure

On: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 4:33PM | By: Chris Weiss

London Set to Take a Lead In EV Charging Infrastructure  test 1-1

Here in the United States, we've heard President Obama's goal of getting a million plug-ins on the road by 2015. It's a good goal, but so far the implementation of a charging infrastructure has been rather slow and piecemeal.

London recently revealed its own plan for plug-in vehicle charging infrastructure, a plan that could serve as a model for Europe and other countries worldwide. The plan calls for the addition of 1,300 EV charging stations around the city by 2013. The U.S. might want to watch closely.