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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Hybrid / Green

Volt Sales Drop In January

On: Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 9:55AM | By: Chris Weiss

Volt Sales Drop In January test 2

The Chevy Volt is starting to look like one of those Miss America winners that get rocked by a scandal during their year of reign and fall rapidly from grace. The Volt got to do its best pageant wave when it took home all kinds of awards and accolades in late 2010 and early 2011. Then, during the remainder of 2011, it was one 'scandal' after another: poor sales, battery fires, government investigations, lowered expectations, etc.

This year isn't starting off any better. In addition to Congressional hearings on the Volt fires, the Volt's sales are off to a sluggish start.

The Tesla Model X Draws Nearer...

On: Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 9:59AM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla Model X Teaser test 2

Interested to know what the next Tesla EV will look like? We're officially one step closer, as Tesla has released its first teaser of the model. The teaser comes less than a week before Tesla will unveil the new crossover.

Tesla announced last month that it will officially unveil the Model X crossover on February 9. Interestingly, Inside Line reports that the unveil will take place at the Tesla LA Design Studio in Hawthorne, California and not at the Chicago Auto Show, which gets underway the day before.

Most of the Model X remains in the shadows - it is merely a teaser, after all - but we do see a grille that looks similar but perhaps a little bigger and more rounded than the grille on the Model S. We also see what appears to be a rather rounded windshield and roofline, though the latter disappears quickly into darkness.

GM's Chevy Volt Super Bowl Ad

On: Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 11:19AM | By: Chris Weiss

GM Will Advertise Chevy Volt During Super Bowl test 2

After a couple of months of bad publicity, GM will look to rally around the Chevy Volt and work on improving its image beginning on Super Bowl Sunday. A new Volt ad was among five Chevy ads that GM planned for the game.

The Chevy Volt has had a rough couple of months. In November, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation on a potential battery-fire issue - about the last thing the Volt or any electric powered car needs. Just when it looked like Chevy had solved the problem to the NHTSA's satisfaction, Congress decided that the government's vehicular safety agency might have been negligent in its duties and opened up hearings on the Volt and NHTSA's handling of the issue. Some harsh quotes made headlines, and the Chevy's Volt image has been in rapid spiral mode for weeks.

Ford To Add EcoBoost Options To More Vehicles

On: Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 10:20AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford To Add EcoBoost Options To More Vehicles test 2

We may not have an EcoBoost Mustang yet, but Ford announced recently that it plans to expand the availability of EcoBoost engines to some new vehicles. Ford will offer its efficient, pressure-charged engines on a total of 11 vehicles in 2012.

Ford set a record for EcoBoost vehicles sold in 2011, pushing more than 127,000 off of lots. This year, it plans to triple Ecoboost production capacity and offer its fuel economical engines in the Escape crossover, Fusion sedan, Taurus police interceptor and Focus ST. A total of 11 vehicles will have Ecoboost options, up from seven last year.


Next BMW Project i Vehicle To Be An i5

On: Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 9:46AM | By: Chris Weiss

Next BMW Project i Vehicle To Be An i5 test 2

When BMW announced its Project i line, word was that it envisioned an entire range of high-end green cars filling the line. We already know that the range-topping i8 sports car and i3 city car are on the way. The latest reports indicate that the next i model in development will sit between those two in the i5 slot.

The i3 and i8 are expected to debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. A report originating on German site Autobild puts the i5's debut two years later, perhaps at the 2015 Frankfurt show.

The New Tesla Roadster? PG Elektrus Elise-Based Sports EV

On: Sat, Jan 28, 2012 at 9:09AM | By: Chris Weiss

PG Elektrus test 2

The Tesla Roadster was discontinued in the US last year and there's at least a few years before we see a replacement. One German manufacturer is stepping into the void and offering a Roadster-esque EV also built atop a Lotus chassis. The PG Elektrus promises even more all-electric performance than the Roadster...and a whole lot more price.

The Elektrus may look more Fisker Karma with that toothy grille and vehicle-mounted solar panel, but it bears more in common with the Roadster. Like the Roadster, it owes its underpinnings to Lotus. While Lotus stopped production of North American Elise and Exige models due to the loss of an airbag exemption, it continues to offer them in other markets.

Chevy Dealers Say 'NO!' To The Volt

On: Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 9:59AM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Dealers Say 'NO!' To The Volt test 2

The Chevy Volt may not have been the biggest product flop of 2011, but it wasn't exactly a runaway success either. GM fell about 2,400 units short of its original 10,000 goal, and the Volt was the subject of some seriously bad publicity in the form of a battery fire and NHTSA investigation. As Chevy moves on to year 2 of the Volt, it has a new problem on its hands: Its own network of dealers don't want to stock it.

According to Automotive News, GM is having trouble distributing Volts to dealers around the country. A GM spokesperson blamed the down orders on the ongoing NHTSA investigation, but some of the admissions from dealers indicate a deeper problem.

2013 Porsche 918 Spyder To Debut Next Year

On: Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 11:44AM | By: Chris Weiss

2013 Porsche 918 Spyder To Debut Next Year test 2

After bursting onto the scene at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show followed by ensuing rumors and reports about production and price, the Porsche 918 Spyder has been on an extended headline hiatus. Until now. A new report about the car's launch and production design has updated what we know about Porsche's hybrid supercar.

Unlike all the speculation and rumors that go on when it comes to a high-profile supercar in the vein of the 918, this one comes directly from Porsche by way of its in-house Christophorus Magazine. We can therefore take it as a "yes" rather than a "maybe."

Eco-Mustang? Ford To Introduce Ecoboost Mustang Option

On: Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 9:52AM | By: Chris Weiss

Eco-Mustang? Ford To Introduce Ecoboost Mustang Option test 2

Muscle cars, like supercars, are one of the few automotive categories that remain exempt from environmental friendliness. These cars have a tradition that is based around big, punishing V-6 and V-8 engines. They're large and heavy and don't really think about anything but drag races, smoking tires and bragging rights. They sure as hell don't think about Mother Earth. More forward-thinking individuals might conclude the muscle cars are everything that's wrong with the history of American automotive design all tucked into a nutshell, but these cars have a fervent following and remain important for automakers' sales and images.

While fuel economy and eco-design may not be primary considerations in the build of cars like the Chevy Camaro or Ford Mustang, they're slowly slipping their way into the minds of designers and executives. Boasts like "300 HP" are now being qualified with "...and 30 MPG". Soon, increased fuel economy and decreased CO2 emissions may become central elements of muscle car design rather than asterisks and afterthoughts. And it looks like Ford will lead the way.

Toyota Reveals NS4 Plug-In Hybrid Concept

On: Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 5:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota Reveals NS4 Plug-In Hybrid Concept test 2

After a few separate teasers, Toyota staged the introduction of its NS4 plug-in hybrid concept. The concept displays both a new plug-in system and an interesting take on sporty design language.

Toyota didn't issue details of the hybrid system in its press release, choosing to state simply that the NS4 uses a next-generation application of the Hybrid Synergy Drive plug-in system that underpins the upcoming Prius Plug-In. The NS4 is envisioned as a unique model, however, and not simply a member of the growing Prius family. Toyota calls it a "new mid-sized concept for potential global market introduction by 2015."

More than a look at the future of plug-in mobility, the car is a look at the styling direction that Toyota will take with upcoming models. Toyota hopes this direction makes an "emotional connection with consumers." It is defined by the forward-tilting cabin, which almost looks like a reverse sportback, and open trapezoid grille accented by a floating lower spoiler.

Tesla Model X Coming In February

On: Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 12:38PM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla Model X Coming In February test 2

Last August, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla planned to introduce a concept version of its next car--the Model X crossover--before the end of the year. Well, guess what? The champagne is drained; the confetti is cleaned and all but the most monumental hangovers have cleared. And we still haven't seen the Model X.  Musk cleared this up in saying that the new concept will make its debut next month.

In a statement from Musk published on tech blog GigaOM, Musk confirmed a February 9 unveiling. He didn't specifically say the Chicago Auto Show, but given that the show starts that day, it seems like a highly likely venue.

Musk didn't reveal any new details on the Model X, but it's known to be a crossover built on the same platform as the Model S. It will offer three rows of seating.