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Germans Working On All Weather Transformer Tires

On: Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 11:13AM | By: Chris Weiss


Germans Working On All Weather Transformer Tires test 2

Sensor systems are currently being used in all types of vehicular applications. Cars can now maintain lanes, stop automatically and parallel park using advanced sensor systems. Really, those are all things the driver should be quite capable of himself. Over in Germany, researchers are applying sensors to a function that drivers have little control over: tire traction.

A team of Leipzig University researchers led by Detlef Reimer is working on what's being called the world's first intelligent tire. The tire attempts to take the designation "all weather" a little more seriously by monitoring terrain conditions and adapting itself to fit them.


Lambo Goes SUV With Urus Concept

On: Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 10:14AM | By: Chris Weiss


Lamborghini Urus Concept test 2

Well this is entirely anti-climactic. After years of speculation, rumor and sound bites about a third Lamborghini, it's finally here. The Urus crossover concept made its debut at the Beijing Motor Show, and we've found it difficult to make any opinion one way or the other.

We were originally pretty excited about the prospect of a Lamborghini SUV, thinking back to the glory days of the LM002, a hardcore, military-style off-roader. When word drifted to a diluted, car-based crossover, our excitement turned to dismay as quickly as our hearts sunk into our stomachs. And when we saw a purported leaked picture, our dismay thickened like incoming harbor fog.


The Cadillac Of Autonomous Vehicles

On: Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 5:06PM | By: Chris Weiss


The Cadillac Of Autonomous Vehicles test 2

Everyone's slowly inching toward a reality of self-driving vehicles, and it appears the trail is going to be blazed by luxury automakers. After all, these automakers could actually expect to fetch the price premium that advanced, autonomous vehicular systems will undoubtedly command when they first hit market. Cadillac is the latest automaker to show off some autonomous wares.

As the name "Super Cruise" conveys, Cadillac's technology is basically an advanced cruise control system. In addition to accelerating and keeping speed up like other cruise control systems, Super Cruise also takes over steering, braking and lane centering functions, rendering the driver an emergency manual back-up.


Study: Number Of Young Drivers On Big Decline

On: Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 3:24PM | By: Chris Weiss


Study: Number Of Young Drivers On Big Decline test 2

Many recent studies have demonstrated an ambivalence to driving among teens and young adults - something that was almost unheard of 10 or 20 years ago. The latest study from the University of Michigan shows that the number of young drivers has been on decline over the past 25 years.

According to the study's findings, the percentage of 16 to 39 year olds with driver's licenses dropped markedly between 1983 and 2008. The sharpest drop-off was observed in the youngest part of that demographic. For instance, the percentage of 17 year-olds with licenses was about 50 percent in 2008, compared to 69 percent in 1983. Among 20 to 24 year-olds, 82 percent had licenses in 2008, 92 percent in 1983. There was even a 3.2 percent drop in licenses among 35 to 39 year-olds.


 

Holding Breath, Euro-Spec Ford Ranger Debuts

On: Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 2:17PM | By: Chris Salamone


All-new Ford Ranger test 2

Back and February, a few spy shots popped up on the internet which tantalized viewers with the possibility of a future all-new Ford Ranger playing around the streets of Los Angeles. Up until now, Ford has kept a tight lid on an impending Ranger – refusing to provide the juicy details. But the Euro specific commercial vehicle show in Burmingham, UK has arrived, and Ford cometh with a full lineup of all-new Rangers.

As usual, buyers can expect 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains and three cab body types: regular, super, and double. But, unlike in the United States, Ford has opted to value practicality with the European Ranger’s duo of powertrain options…which only feature diesel fuel.


GM Unveils EN-V 2.0 In Beijing

On: Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 12:36PM | By: Chris Weiss


GM Unveils EN-V 2.0 In Beijing test 2

GM updated its pod-like EN-V personal transporter at this week's Beijing Motor Show. Originally shown at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai, the EN-V gets a few driver-centric updates to make it a little more comfortable and functional.

Having not seen the EN-V in over a year, we were kind of hoping that it just disappeared into the land of forgotten bad ideas. But it looks like GM is still stuck on the whole personal mobility thing. I suppose in China, the world's most populous country, it might actually make some sense. But it's still a rather atrocious, embarrassing way to travel around.


The Evolution Of The SRT Viper (Video)

On: Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 9:17AM | By: Chris Weiss


The Evolution Of The SRT Viper test 2

No matter how many times I write it, I still can't get used to it: SRT Viper. Thankfully, Chrysler takes us back to a simpler time when the Viper still enjoyed a comfy home at Dodge. A new video gives viewers an historic look at the flagship sports car.

Those that don't know much about the Viper may be surprised to note that it was the brainchild of two iconic American auto minds that are now more closely associated with the other two members of the Detroit Big 3. Bob Lutz, most recently known for his role as GM vice chairman, and Carroll Shelby, whose name is closely associated with high-end Ford Mustangs, were the driving forces behind the Viper back in the late 80s. They set out to build a throwback, 60s-style muscle car - similar to Shelby's own Cobra, only with modern technology. The concept version of the Viper debuted at the 1989 North American International Auto Show.


Eterniti Motors To Beat Bentley, Lamborghini To Ultra-Premium SUV

On: Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 4:15PM | By: Chris Weiss


Eterniti Artemis test 2

We thought that either Bentley or Lamborghini would be the first to cut ribbon on the new generation of ultra-premium super SUVs. But while those two VW brands are still mired in the concept stages, a small boutique firm is getting ready to launch what it calls the "world's first super SUV."

The Eterniti Artemis isn't quite in production dress at the Beijing Motor Show, but it is in its final prototype stages and should be ready for production by this summer. The firm plans to beat Bentley, Maserati and Lamborghini to the ultra-premium SUV market.


2013 Mercedes SL63: Bring On All Challengers!

On: Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 2:47PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


2013 Mercedes SL63 test 2

The history of Mercedes SL has been a long and storied line of automobiles that have brought joy and envy to millions over the last two decades. When Mercedes decided to let its performance division have a crack at the SL, things only got better and worse, depending on which side of the tax bracket you happen to be on. For 2013, there is even more good or bad news. Mercedes-Benz is introducing a new SL63, and it is a car that takes luxury performance to a whole new level.  

Although most people would automatically assume that BMW is Mercedes' biggest competitor, when it comes to a car like the SL63, it's more apples to oranges. The main competition the SL63 faces comes from companies like Aston Martin or Jaguar. These are big cars that focus on equal parts luxury and power, and the SL63 is packing plenty of both.


Ferrari Updates HY-KERS... Here Comes New Enzo

On: Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 12:13PM | By: Chris Weiss


Ferrari Updates HY-KERS test 2

For years, we've been hearing rumor after rumor about the upcoming Ferrari Enzo successor. Codenamed the F70, the new flagship, road-legal-F1 supercar is being readied for a 2013 debut. At the Beijing Motor Show, Ferrari provided a sneak preview of the powertrain that will drive the new Enzo.

While Ferrari didn't come out and say the updated HY-KERS system is the mechanical underpinnings of the F70, it's not too hard to deduct. The F70 will be the first Ferrari hybrid, and the new HY-KERS system is displayed in the mid-rear engine layout that the F70 will use.


Who'd A Thunk? Study Shows Americans Buying More Fuel Efficient Cars

On: Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 9:37AM | By: Chris Weiss


Americans Buying More Fuel Efficient Cars test 2

Americans may not yet be keen on buying multiple hybrids, but they are making a sure move toward more fuel efficient cars. With gas prices bubbling toward record highs, we probably didn't need a study to tell us what intuition is already whispering in our ears. But a study confirms it.

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, which has been following these things for about four years, said this month that average fuel economy of new vehicles purchased in March topped 24 mpg for the first time ever. Average fuel economy took a small but notable step from 23.9 mpg in February to 24.1 mpg in March. That's a rise of 4 mpg/20 percent from October 2007, the first month that the Institute conducted the study.