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Acura RL To Get NSX's Hybrid Powertrain

On: Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 10:46AM | By: Chris Weiss

Acura RL To Get NSX's Hybrid Powertrain test 2

Honda introduced the hybrid drivetrain that underpins the Acura NSX before the NSX itself, so it's not all that surprising that the automaker plans to use the system in more cars than just its upcoming Acura sports flagship. According to a new report, Honda also plans to use the hybrid system in its flagship sedan.

Honda chief Takanobu Ito told Auto News that the redesigned RL sedan will use the same hybrid powertrain as the NSX. In fact, the RL might be the first Acura to get the system, as a redesigned RL is likely to beat the NSX to market. The system will allow for better handling.

BMW i8 Details Surface

On: Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 2:54PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW i8 Details Surface test 2

BMW has been developing the i8 since it launched it as the Vision EfficientDynamics at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. It showed an updated i8 version at last year's show and plans to have the production version ready for the next Frankfurt show in 2013. In the meantime, it has revealed some of the key specs and details about the production model.

CAR magazine reports that the production i8 will play pretty closely to the concepts. It will be a 2 + 2 design with pop-up doors available exclusively as a plug-in diesel hybrid. It will weigh around 3,200 lbs, thanks to the use of carbon fiber.

MotorTrend Gets Wild With Super Wagon Showdown (Video)

On: Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 11:50AM | By: Chris Salamone

Cadillac CTS-V vs. Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG test 2

MotorTrend, the company famous for Subaru Outback adventures and Jeep survival epics, brings the thunder when it comes to automotive journalism. Few companies, if any, are capable of producing such high quality, well composed content and a recent super wagon-on-wagon comparo is no exception. In just over 9:00 minutes of scintillating video or skimming a brief article, viewers will be left with a newfound sense of appreciation.

Wagons, it would seem, can be less embarrassing than we thought, especially the Cadillac CTS-V and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.

Slugfest Continues, Durango Swipes Explorer (Video)

On: Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 10:17AM | By: Chris Salamone

Dodge Durango test 2

During the past few years we saw automakers come together with a sense of urgency. People weren’t buying too many cars and, as a result, we had an advertising cease fire. And then Super Bowl 2012 happened. After a string of successful months, GM thought it prudent to get back on the competitive bandwagon and suggest Ford trucks might not be able to handle the post-apocalyptic world. Since game day we’ve seen the Big Three go back and forth, shedding their recession-induced docility in favor of good ole’ American prizefighting.

In a recent blog post, Dodge spoke loud and clear – claiming the Durango includes Spiderman-like power and responsibility requirements. To the delight of all, Dodge also felt compelled to attach a Ford Explorer to the Durango’s already extensive baggage train.


Chevy To Replace Charging Cords On 2011 Volts

On: Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 4:53PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy To Replace Charging Cords On 2011 Volts test 2

Ordinarily when things go wrong with a car, an automaker needs to issue a recall, bringing owners in to repair the model. But when that problem only pertains to an ancillary component - say a charging cable - then the automaker can take care of business without inconveniencing owners as much. That's what Chevy is doing for Volt owners in order to improve their charging experience.

Chevy told media this week that it plans to replace the 120V charging cords on all 2011 Volts and some 2012 models. The new cords are designed to offer an improved, more reliable charging experience and sound to be more durable. A company spokesperson was careful to distinguish it as a proactive action and not a recall, when speaking with Inside Line.

Infiniti Teases Electric Leaf-Based Concept

On: Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 1:44PM | By: Chris Weiss

Infiniti Teases Electric Leaf-Based Concept test 2

We've recently seen Infiniti's take on a range-topping electric flagship, and now the company is preparing to show us a more entry level electric vehicle. Nissan's luxury arm released teasers of a Leaf-based EV last year, and reports indicate that it will show the concept at the New York Auto Show.

Given the costs of developing a market-ready EV and the modest sales that such vehicles are likely to draw in the near term, expect to see automakers leveraging EV technology for more than one model. We know that GM is doing it with the Volt-based Cadillac ELR, and it looks like Nissan has some interest in extending its Leaf platform upmarket.

West Coast Customs Builds A Technified Mustang For Microsoft

On: Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 12:03PM | By: Chris Weiss

West Coast Customs Builds A Technified Mustang For Microsoft test 2

As if automakers aren't installing enough dubious technology into their offerings, Microsoft decided to get in the game. The technology company that millions of Americans rarely go a day without commissioned help from West Coast Customs in building a very special Mustang.

Microsoft has codenamed the car "Project Detroit," and West Coast Customs calls it the Micro-Stang. Whatever you want to call it, this is one serious tune.

Scion Releases FR-S Pricing

On: Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 11:04AM | By: Chris Weiss

Scion Releases FR-S Pricing test 2

Well, it had to do it sometime. Production has already kicked off and the Scion FR-S should be in dealerships within about two months. In fact, first buyers have already gotten the chance to reserve one. So the only thing left to know is how much it will cost. Scion recently released US pricing for the FR-S.

The Scion FR-S is the North American version of Toyota Motor Company's sports car built in cooperation with Subaru. Toyota will sell the car as the 86 or GT 86, but will offer it through the Scion brand in North America. Subaru will sell its own version of the car called the BRZ. All models are being built at Subaru's Gunma plant.

Fisker Teases Project Nina

On: Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 9:51AM | By: Chris Weiss

Fisker Teases Project Nina test 2

Fisker may be dealing with all kinds of internal turmoil, but it's trying to put on a brave public face. The green start-up released a teaser of its Project Nina sedan this week in anticipation of an event at the New York Auto Show next month.

Fisker didn't specify the exact nature of the event, saying vaguely that it's "a special event ahead of the New York Auto Show to share with media, retailers and the public a business update and give a glimpse of the future of our company." Given that the teaser is clearly a car, we'll assume that "future" is a concept version of the Project Nina sedan.

McLaren Not Gunning For World Speed Record With P12

On: Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 5:24PM | By: Chris Weiss

McLaren Not Gunning For World Speed Record With P12 test 2

Despite the fact that its top speed is rumored at around 260 mph - very close to the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's 267.8 mph world record, the McLaren P12 won't be a contender for world's fastest car, according to a new report. In fact, it may not even be as fast as its predecessor the F1, which captured the world speed record in 1998 with a 240.1 mph run. Instead, it will be focused more on all-around performance and usability.

According to a report by Australian publication Drive, McLaren CEO Ron Dennis said a world record isn't a goal of the P12, clarifying: "Don’t get fixated by top speed. That’s the first thing you have to discard in today’s society. What you’ve got to have is a complete package of performance. You’ve got to embrace technologies that are out there that are accepted, and some that don’t even exist. I can tell you our next car has many things on it that don’t exist at the moment."

First Phase Of The West Coast Electric Highway Now Open

On: Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 2:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

First Phase Of The West Coast Electric Highway Now Open test 2

The West Coast Electric Highway is a project that should allow EVs to gain some real world practicality. The project is designed to make it possible to travel from Canada to Mexico along Interstate 5 in an electric vehicle. The first phase of the highway in southern Oregon is now open.

The West Coast Electric Highway is being made possible by collaboration between the governments of California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, private companies, the US Department of Transportation and non-profit organizations. When complete, the highway will offer DC fast-charging stations - 480-volt stations that can charge a battery to about 80 percent full in half an hour - every 40 to 60 miles. While a trip down the full length of the highway via EV won't exactly be fast or convenient, considering the short range of EVs and length of time involved in charging, it will be possible, unlike on the average highway.