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Fisker Karma Gets EPA Rated And Gives Us A Few More Reasons Not To Buy It

On: Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 9:28AM | By: Chris Weiss


Fisker Karma Gets EPA Rated And Gives Us A Few More Reasons Not To Buy It test 2

Poor Fisker. Once a highly respectable name in cutting edge green car innovation, the auto start-up is now left trying to peddle an overpriced plug-in that was basically out of date before it was ever available. Two or three years (and several production delays and price increases) ago, a $97,000 plug-in sports-luxury hybrid with 400 hp might have seemed like a really attractive alternative to the Tesla Roadster. But with the equally sporty, cleaner, Tesla Model S ($57,000 to $77,000) preparing to hit the market next year, the Karma just looks like a last-generation green car arriving to the market way too late.

And its final clearance toward that market arrival isn't helping. The EPA tested the car and the finalized numbers fall well short of Fisker's own projections, making the Karma look even more clunky and outdated.


McLaren F1 Successor Now Testing

On: Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 4:34PM | By: Chris Weiss


McLaren F1 Successor Now Testing test 2

As nice a car as the McLaren MP4-12C is, it's really just a mid-level super-coupe on par with the Ferrari 458 Italia or Lamborghini Gallardo. There's still a 599 GTB/Aventador LP700-4-level McLaren waiting in the wings. In fact, McLaren aims to surpass even those names, making a true F1 successor that will compete with super-million-dollar, limited run hypercars like the Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari Enzo replacement and SSC Tuatara.

According to new reports, McLaren has moved on to the testing phase for its flagship.


Ford To Equip More Vehicles With Text-Reading Capabilities

On: Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 3:02PM | By: Chris Weiss


Ford To Equip More Vehicles With Text-Reading Capabilities test 2

Imagine this. You're driving along in your Mustang on a deserted road in the middle of the afternoon. The sky is bright blue; there's not a single car on the road ahead; and you decide to put that V-6 engine to the test, going a little faster than you'd usually go. All of the sudden, your car starts talking to you telling you all about how your girlfriend is out shopping for her bridesmaid dress and is so pissed about what a bridezilla diva-monger the bride is being.

"OMG! OMG!!!!" you think. "Please tell me more! My fast, serene country road drive was oh so perfect before it was ruined by completely random girlfriend drama that I don't care about. Thanks Ford!"

That is your future with Ford's text-reading function, which will be equipped to a raft of new vehicles.


Nissan Debuts Hybrid Technology

On: Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 11:05AM | By: Chris Weiss


Nissan Debuts Hybrid Technology test 2

Nissan may be a leader in terms of electric vehicles, but it's lagged behind the competition in terms of hybrid technology. It debuted the Altima Hybrid in 2007, but chose to just borrow Toyota technology instead of developing its own. The Altima Hybrid has been Nissan's only hybrid offering and was recently canceled from its 2012 lineup. While Toyota and Honda offer cars like the Prius, Fit and CR-X, Nissan is essentially hybrid-less.

Well, Nissan announced its very own hybrid system last week, and it intends to bring it to the US market within about two years.


 

Fiat 500 Gets IIHS Top Safety Pick

On: Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 9:31AM | By: Chris Weiss


Fiat 500 Gets IIHS Top Safety Pick test 2

The tiny Fiat 500 is the car that relaunched the Fiat brand in the United States. And Chrysler/Fiat hopes that the 500 will provide a solid start to a run much improved from its last foray in the American market, when Fiats earned the nickname "Fix It Again, Tony."

So far, the car has some serious accolades on its side including a 2009 World Car Design of the Year award and a recent Kelley Blue Book recommendation as a top back-to-school car. And now it's met one of the biggest challenges that tiny cars face head on and come out the victor: the 500 has received a prestigious "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


GM Expects Partially Autonomous Cars By 2015

On: Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 5:14PM | By: David Walter


GM Expects Partially Autonomous Cars By 2015 test 2

Believe it or not, many newer cars found on the road today already feature the building blocks for partial or fully autonomous platforms. Cameras, sensors, GPS and wireless technology are currently used to supply information to both the driver and the car. However, if these tools were to be combined with car-to-infrastructure communication, what once was thought as mere science-fiction could quickly become reality.

If you’re like me, that still seems like a rather large “what if” scenario, but Alan Taub, GM’s Vice President of Global Research and Development, seems much more optimistic.

“Vehicles that partially drive themselves will be available by the middle of the decade with more sophisticated self-driving systems by the end of the decade," said Taub at the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in Orlando last Sunday.


Last Pagani Zonda F Roadster Goes Purple

On: Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 3:22PM | By: Chris Weiss


Last Pagani Zonda F Roadster Goes Purple test 2

During the final months of the Pagani Zonda, we've seen pretty much every color of the rainbow. There was a yellow one, a blue one and a purple one. And now...well, it's another purple one. Albeit a deeper, almost maroon purple. It's the last of the limited edition Zonda F Roadsters.

Pagani determined to make 25 Zonda F Roadsters all the way back in 2006 when it first debuted the model. Well, it took a good five years, but this here is number 25. It was commissioned by a customer in the Ukraine, who reportedly has a Zonda R in his garage as well. The model is decked out in purple paint with black carbon scattered around the hood, front-end and other places.


Latest Russian Military Hovercraft [Insert Dolph Lundgren Quip Here]

On: Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 2:09PM | By: Chris Salamone


Russian Military Spec Christy 6143 test 2

A country famous for implementing the world’s largest military hovercraft, the SR-N4, has created a new hovering killing machine. Caught during the filming of an upcoming Russian movie, made by an appropriately-named studio ‘Lenfilm’, this newest Russian military-grade hovercraft makes short work of sand, mud, and even choppy surf. Fans of the soon-to-be Red Dawn remake won’t be disappointed to hear that Russia still values the heady stench of glory with their Christy 6143 hovercraft, designed specifically for Special Forces operations “of any complexity.”


BMW MicroNavigation To Build On GPS

On: Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 12:33PM | By: Chris Weiss


BMW MicroNavigation To Build On GPS test 2

As much of a boon as GPS has been, there's definitely room for it to improve. Adding more accuracy, more updated infrastructure information and points of interest and gaining more information about roads themselves are a few of the ways I could see GPS improving. I imagine one day in the future, GPS will be able to automatically tell you when the speed limit changes, warn you of pot holes or impending hazards and help you navigate your way around shopping complexes and other micro systems.

BMW, which has been just teeming with technology lately, provided a look at one of the new features that it will use to enhance the functionality of its navigation systems. Another aspect of ConnectedDrive, it's called microNavigation and it will help to make your drive as efficient as possible.


GM Being GM Launches, Then Pulls, Controversial Bicycling Ad

On: Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 11:22AM | By: Chris Weiss


GM Being GM Launches, Then Pulls, Controversial Bicycling Ad test 2

Remember a couple years ago when GM, once a world leader in the automotive industry, was failing miserably and had to go ask the government for a couple bucks just to stay in business? Well, one of the big problems in Detroit at the time was the lack of forward thinking and self-awareness. In fact, self-awareness and thinking were so absent in Detroit that the minds behind GM thought it was appropriate to fly private jets to Washington to ask for billions of taxpayer dollars to keep the $#!*-show afloat.

Well, after a couple years of making an effort to turn its old fashioned ways around with products like the Chevy Volt, GM is back to doing what it seems to do best: making itself look like an organization full of stodgy good ol' boys completely ignorant to the ways of the world. Luckily, this time, it didn't run the company into the ground. But it did launch a completely out-of-touch ad that it later got cornered into retracting.


Chevy And Nissan Benefit From Plug-In Buzz

On: Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 9:10AM | By: Chris Weiss


Chevy And Nissan Benefit From Plug-In Buzz test 2

Both the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf hit the market nearly a year ago. The country's two cleanest cars have been in a sales race, with both hoping to reach around 10,000 sales or so by the end of the year. Chevy benefited from a stronger start, but Nissan picked up, passed Chevy by and hasn't looked back.

The sales rivalry has caused a war of PR spin, but there's one thing that executives at both Nissan and Chevy can agree on: plug-in vehicles have been good for brand image and business.