Throughout The Car Industry
When you buy a new smartphone or computer, you have about a week of enjoying owning the coolest, latest technology. Then, it's replaced by something with a more powerful processor, better screen or cooler feature. A year after you bought your phone, it's so obsolete that the manufacturer is replacing it with an entirely new version. Your consumer electronics really don't have that much of a shelf life. According to a new study, the car may be the next consumer good to experience a micro shelf life.
Posted In: Car News, Reports, Technology
Tags: new cars, market, reports, studies
Automakers have been busy as bees over the last decade designing lightweight, fuel-efficient vehicles for a public increasingly suffering from price shock at the gas pumps. As a result, dozens of car models and even some light trucks now average 25+ miles per gallon on the highway. Hybrids like the Prius are even more fuel-stingy, getting 50 MPG or more.
But even Toyota's ultra-efficient savings champ is outdone by a new vehicle called the Elio, which can go 84 miles on a single gallon of regular unleaded. Scheduled to be released in 2014, the Elio is causing waves across the automotive world.
Posted In: Car News, Concept Cars, Exotics, Good, Bad & Ugly, Hybrid / Green, Technology
Tags: Elio, Green cars, MPG, fuel-efficient, safety, motorcycle
The average price for unleaded gas has been over three dollars a gallon since late 2010, and, despite recent drops, chances are good that gasoline will remain pricey for the foreseeable future. Because of this, millions of motorists across the country are showing keen interest in vehicles that promise better mileage for each drop of fuel, and automakers have been busy offering models to meet this demand.
Leading the way are gas/electric hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius and Chevy Volt, which can drive 50+ miles on a single gallon of gas. Backed by aggressive marketing campaigns and government tax credits, it seems clear that hybrids are the way to go for anyone who wants to save money at the pump.
Posted In: Car News, Hybrid / Green, Miscellaneous, Reviews, Technology
Tags: hybrid vs. diesel
When it comes to building awesome, lust-worthy, high-performance electric cars, Tesla has experienced success for years. But when it comes to making money on those electric cars—like the 'more money than I spent to make money' type of money—it has had less success. It has failed to turn a profit for the entire 10 years that it's been in business. Until last week. In a letter to shareholders detailing its 2013 Q1 financials, Tesla announced its first profit ever.
Posted In: Car News, Hybrid / Green, Technology
Tags: Tesla, business, sales, profits, Model S
A decade ago, gas was cheap and SUVs had their own zip codes. Americans didn't care about fuel economy. We just wanted big vehicles to traverse our big country, as we slurped on our Big Gulps. But that all changed when gas prices spiked in 2008. Customers were forced to abandon their 15 mpg ImpressUVs, and car makers were forced to start building vehicles that offered a similar experience, without sucking down $900 worth of gas every week.
After billions in combined R&D, automakers have been able to develop a bevy of fuel saving technologies, that have turned today's vehicles into fuel-sipping wonders. For example, SUVs like the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox can achieve 32 MPG on the highway, while providing a total of 63 cu-ft of cargo room, 1,500 lbs of towing capacity (the V6 can pull 3,500 lbs), and there's even a built-in mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the 4-cyl FWD Equinox at 22 city/32 highway/26 combined.
The future of car buying is going to get more complicated, at least if you want to keep up with the latest technology. Not only will you need to educate yourself on engine options, standard equipment, safety features, fuel economies, and available packages, you'll need to compare computer systems. Each year, more and more vehicles include advanced infotainment systems that keep you connected to the cloud. Unfortunately, unlike the old car radio head units, which were pretty straightforward to compare and use, each system uses its own hardware and software interface, making them difficult to compare from one brand to the next. Infotainment reviews and awards provide a helpful shortcut toward helping you identify what might work for you. Ford's SYNC system is the latest infotainment system to earn a nod, getting named "Best Traditional-to-Mobile Transition."
Posted In: Car News, Reviews, Technology
Tags: Ford, SYNC, infotainment, technology, new cars
The National Off Road Racing Association (we'll call 'em NORRA from now on) announced last week that for the first time ever an all-electric off-road vehicle would race in its Mexican 1000 hot rod race, which is underway now. The rally, which is open to vintage and alternatively fueled vehicles, provides an interesting test bed for EVs, which suffer from range issues and performance problems in extreme weather - say 1,200 miles of hot, mouth-cottoningly dry desert in Baja. The SR1 EV1 truly has its work cut out for it.
Posted In: Hybrid / Green, Racing, Special / Limited Edition, Technology, Videos
Tags: Ev, electric vehicles, racing, off-road, Baja, baja, baja 1000, electric car, electric vehicle, ev, general tire mexican 1000, national off road racing association, norra, off-road, rally, sr1
Nissan latest concept car is described as a "four-passenger sedan designed for a generation with a different automotive outlook," a fact that's clear from its social-network-inspired name: Friend-ME. The concept car puts a Chinese-focused spin on technologically loaded small cars aimed at a new generation of auto buyers.
Posted In: Auto Shows, Concept Cars, Technology
Tags: Nissan, Friend-Me, concept cars, 2013 Shanghai Auto Show, technology
Following the New York Auto Show earlier this month, the auto show season here in North America has calmed down. But that doesn't mean there aren't new concepts and car models launching around the globe. The Shanghai Auto Show got underway over the weekend, and Mercedes debuted a concept crossover at the show. It calls the GLA Concept an escape from the everyday.
Posted In: Auto Shows, Concept Cars, Technology
Tags: Mercedes, Mercedes-Benz, concept cars, GLA, 2013 Shanghai Motor Show
Brake regeneration is a staple of electric vehicles and hybrids. The technology repurposes the energy usually lost as heat during braking for the purpose of battery charging. Typically this is an automatic process that happens only during braking, but in the new Cadillac ELR, it’s available to the driver on-demand.
Posted In: Hybrid / Green, Reports, Technology
Tags: Cadillac, ELR, plug-ins, EVs, new cars, green
People strike up conversation with me, as a car guy, to help them decide which new car to buy. Often I can help; however, choosing a daily driver for myself has proven impossible. I love cars which are good to drive, and these cars, with their noisy, thirsty engines, manual transmissions and hard riding suspensions are the opposite of what I need for my mogadon commute up and down Highway 101 through Silicon Valley. Stop/start traffic demands automatic transmission; volume of traffic means there is no point in having anything especially fast/powerful, no corners and potholed freeways make floaty suspension your best bet. My driving reality is thus completely at odds with the things I most love about the motoring experience. My commute is not a drive, rather it is a chore which is rendered tolerable only by audiobooks. It is a chore which would be more tolerable if the car could just handle the dumb stop-and-go itself.
Posted In: Reports, Technology
Tags: Autonomous car, self-driving car, Mercedes Benz, Car of the Future