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Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Technology

The Fisker Karma Goes on Retail Tour

On: Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 5:10PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


The Fisker Karma Goes on Retail Tour  test 1-1

Fisker is an ambitious new automaker we have been hearing a lot about in car news today; he plans to launch the first luxury high-performance, electric plug-in hybrid, known as the “Karma”.

Henrik Fisker has a long track record of designing first class automobiles, including some of the most desirable cars ever made, such as the BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9 (both featured in James Bond movies), and more.


GM to invest $893 Million in Producing a More Fuel-Efficient V-8

On: Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 4:49PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


GM to invest $893 Million in Producing a More Fuel-Efficient V-8 test 1-1

The green movement is really taking off in the U.S. today. Every day we read about new and exciting concepts for more fuel-efficient technology in car news.

Most recently GM has announced plans to invest in as many as five different manufacturing plants in order to build more fuel-efficient aluminum block V-8 engines in future GM pickup trucks.

Many were wondering what would become of the heavy duty trucks, with maximum towing capacity, as the government steps up to regulate automakers to halt manufacturing the gas guzzlers in the future. Emissions standards have recently been set for automakers for the production of more fuel-efficient vehicles next year, and to continue to improve ratings up to 2016.


Environmentalists Issue Warnings About Effects of the Combustion Engine

On: Sat, Apr 24, 2010 at 11:27AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Environmentalists Issue Warnings About Effects of the Combustion Engine test 1-1

Environmentalists have been pushing for some time for a shift to using alternative energy for automobiles in order to decrease emissions of toxic chemicals that are the end result of the process of burning fuel in combustion engines. Many people may not realize that for every gallon of fuel that is burned in an automobile, 14 pounds of carbon dioxide (C02) is emitted into the atmosphere. Over a distance of 12,000 miles (the distance an average American will drive in a year), a 25 mpg car will produce 3.4 tons of carbon dioxide, which is one of the biggest contributors to global warming.


The Opel Flextreme Diesel

On: Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 10:08AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Opel Flextreme Diesel test 2

The European version of GM's electric plug-in hybrid (the Volt) recently premiered at the Frankfort Auto Show. The Flextreme is a divergent model, adapted to the European market where the gasoline combustion engine was replaced by a 1.3 liter turbo diesel engine. The new E-Flex design uses electric drive to propel the vehicle, with rechargeable batteries that can be plugged into an electric grid. Rather than combining an internal combustion powertrain and electric drive to power the vehicle as traditional hybrid engines do, E-Flex is driven exclusively on electricity and the diesel fueled engine is utilized to provide energy that will power a generator in order to produce electricity for the electric drive. Subsequently, the engine is smaller and can operate more efficiently.


 

Switch Grass: The Future is Closing

On: Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 3:11PM | By: Benjamin Roussey


Switch Grass: The Future is Closing test 1-1

The debate pertaining to alternative fuel sources for our automobiles has caused a rift in this nation. One side claims electrical, the other side charges back with natural gas, for instance. Both sides have merits but neither of them have the attributes of switch grass. Switch grass? Yes, switch grass. Researchers at Oklahoma State University have discovered 4 types of grasses could be used to power a vehicle – bermudagrass, flaccidgrass, weeping lovegrass, and switchgrass – switchgrass has had the best results, based on efficiency in regards to dry biomass per dollar cost. In other words, switch grass is the most economical and plausible. Thus, science has centered its intention on switch grass.


Chevy Volt Begins Production, New Hybrids From Hyundai And Nissan

On: Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 3:55PM | By: John Welch


Chevy Volt Begins Production, New Hybrids From Hyundai And Nissan test 1-1


The first Chevy Volts hummed off the assembly line in Hamtramck on Tuesday, making good on a fuel-efficiency promise first made at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. The General was going to give Americans a car that achieved triple-digit efficiency, 700 miles on one tank. It was ungainly, some might say ugly, (though I found the odd Volvo-esque cutline running between the fenders to be pleasing), but its value went way beyond its poorly-styled exterior. The Volt drank gasoline, but was not propelled by it. The Volt needed to be charged at home, but would not slow to a stop if the charge ran out. EEeeeeenteresting.

There is more good news for the Volt, besides the near-miracle that it is even going to see the light of day: GM's silent partner, good 'ole Uncle-conflictofinterest-Sam, called 'dibs' on the first hundred Volts a week ago. On March 31st, President Obama released a plan for off-shore drilling (Finally!! Refineries, anyone? Wanna get to work on those now, please??!). Obama also set a goal of one million plug-in hybrids, like the Volt or the upcoming Cadillac XTS by 2015. Then, in a move that wasn't difficult to predict, the administration upped its order of Volts from 100 to 2,500 and then to 5,000. Too bad these cars will be destroyed in the first few months- being relegated to company/rental car status and all, operated by US government employees no less.

I can almost visualize the carnage now- a Democratic Senator's aide drills a Republican staffer as he crosses the street. The combination of a silent, government-owned eco-car and a buffoon using a Bluetooth while jay-walking turns out to be deadly. Political and social backlash ensues; the Democratic Senator begins receiving death threats at 3 am; the Republican Senator has to pour himself a stiff drink and find a new boyfriend. And the Volt is run through the muck by any self-righteous goof with a camera in front of him. Both parties.

"We need these cars to have warning sirens and spray water fifteen feet in front of them so that the blind and jerks with headphones won't be ground to hamburger meat beneath the wheels of this rolling abomination!!"

"Who gave a Democrat under the age of forty-two a Gee-Deee drivers license??! This is what happens when you let people abort babies!"

"The RNC placed that young man in the way of our staffer's Volt on purpose, attempting to sabotage a "green" vehicle's reputation! That's what they do, those Nazis!"

"Where am I? How did . . . is this Washington D.C. . . . ? Oh Gawd, this is the Hall of Representatives??! Uhg, I'll give you a sound-bite, just let me go clean all this cocaine and hooker-blood offuh my new loafers!"

Ahem, more news about the Volt, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and the Nissan Leaf, inside yon post . . .


Cities And States Consider Measures To Squeeze Money Out Of Motorists.

On: Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 9:45AM | By: Clay Ritchings


Cameras On Buses test 2

Adding insult to injury, cash-strapped California is seeing some of the most aggressive efforts to squeeze money out of motorists by considering plans to send accident cleanup bills to drivers involved in a crash, according to the Association of California Insurance Companies. Many insurance companies do not cover cleanup fees. Drivers are already being double-tapped by a budget deal that increased the vehicle license fee owners pay to register their cars every year. A significant portion of the revenue goes to the state's general fund, and the rest to local crime prevention programs.


Mobil 12 Hours of Sebring; Le Mans Protoype Hawtness

On: Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 3:17PM | By: John Welch


Mobil 12 Hours of Sebring; Le Mans Protoype Hawtness test 1-1

The Sports Car season is about to get into full-swing, the Mobil 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Orange Juice or Hair Cream or Cell Phones or something . . . is this Saturday! Eff!

The 'Shopper will be there and we will have freaking bells on! Getting the tickets we wanted didn't turn out to be such a snap, but the plans are lain and the Subie is gassed up. Now, to pound enough Unisom to make me just effing sleep until Saturday morning, March 19th. My liver has got to hate my guts . . .

The cars are more varied and exciting than ever, especially in the GT2 class. The number and variety of factory-backed full-bore GT2 cars is just astounding: Porsche, Corvette, BMW, Ford, Jaguar, Ferrari, Panoz, the list goes on.

Also thoroughly exciting, the prototype classes are going through some major changes this season. In order to emulate the fantastic LMP1 vs. LMP2 battles that took place between Audi, Penske (Porsche RS Spyders), and Highcroft-Acura. During the 2007 and 2008 campaigns, the LMP2 cars were working so well (and the then-new Audi R-10 was driving like a panel-van) that the significantly underpowered Acuras and Porsches were able to steal several over-all victories from the mightier (re: more powerful) LMP1 juggernauts.

For 2010, the ALMS has combined the LMP1 and 2 classes, and added a third, 'spec' class- LMPC. By taking weight off of the LMP1 cars, and taking the restrictors off (well, sort of; made the openings larger) the engines of the LMP2 cars, the playing field has been leveled between the two classes- essentially creating one mega-classification. The LMP2s are faster, but now the LMP1s can keep up with them in the corners . . . it's going to be very interesting . . .


Hacker Disables More Than 100 Cars Remotely

On: Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 12:14PM | By: Geoff Ciesla


Hacker Disables More Than 100 Cars Remotely test 1-1

A disgruntled employee created a mess for customers after he hacked into a web-based vehicle immobilization system and remotely disabled vehicles.

Kevin Poulsen writes:

More than 100 drivers in Austin, Texas found their cars disabled or the horns honking out of control, after an intruder ran amok in a web-based vehicle-immobilization system normally used to get the attention of consumers delinquent in their auto payments.


Police with Austin’s High Tech Crime Unit on Wednesday arrested 20-year-old Omar Ramos-Lopez, a former Texas Auto Center employee who was laid off last month, and allegedly sought revenge by bricking the cars sold from the dealership’s four Austin-area lots.


“We initially dismissed it as mechanical failure,” says Texas Auto Center manager Martin Garcia. “We started having a rash of up to a hundred customers at one time complaining. Some customers complained of the horns going off in the middle of the night. The only option they had was to remove the battery.”


Vettel Let Down By Renault Engine, Americans Not Surprised

On: Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 1:46PM | By: John Welch


Vettel Let Down By Renault Engine, Americans Not Surprised test 1-1

Fernando Alonso is a hell of a driver. Everbody knows that. Sebastian Vettel is also a hell of a driver. Together, it appears they will out-right dominate the 2010 F1 Championship. Just my opinion, but I doubt I'm the only one who thinks so.

Now then, that being said, which car is better, the Red Bull RB6 or the Ferrari F10? Difficult to tell. In case you missed it (which I can't understand; what could possibly be better than F1 at 7:30 Sunday morning?! What, sleep??! Sleep when you're dead, Loser!) Sebastian Vettel absolutely dominated the opening stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix, first race of the 2010 Championship. Dominated. Then, as the laps wound down (49 laps this year, compared to last year's 56; more on that later) Vettel's Renault-powered land-missile began to lose time to the pursuing Alonso. Huge, fatty chunks of time. Alonso gained a full five seconds on one lap. Not good for Vettel or Red Bull. Eventually Alonso executed the finisher, drafting up to and then slicing around Vettel as if he were standing still. This lead to the first 1-2 finish for Ferrari in the opening race of season since 2004. Fillipe Massa made short work of Vettel, who also fell to Lewis Hamilton's McLaren before ending the race an embarrassing fourth position. So, "Whaa Happund?!"

Other topics discussed inside: Shui's return, the new teams, and my unholy disappointment in USF1 . . .


Auto Manufacturers Secure Their Future In Lithium.

On: Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 8:12PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Auto Manufacturers Secure Their Future In Lithium. test 1-1

A very important development in the lithium market has recently taken place and appears to be trending. Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation has agreed to buy about 30 per cent of battery-grade lithium carbonate output from Galaxy Resources' Mt Cattlin mine in Western Australia. Galaxy said in a statement today it was close to finalizing similar agreements with other major groups and high-end users of battery-grade lithium carbonate in China and other parts of Asia. We can only assume these other high end users are other automotive or the sophisticated computer and cell phone makers. And the demand will continue to grow as the automotive world reinvents itself.