To make its Duramax 4.5 diesel cleaner and leaner, GM turned traditional engine design inside out and dumped 70 parts.
The biggest change was flipping around the exhaust system to direct hot gases through short pipes toward a central turbocharger and catalytic converter inside the “V” of the engine. This compact design harnesses more exhaust heat and requires fewer components than conventional V8s, which send exhaust through long manifold pipes that protrude from each side of the engine, taking up more space and losing heat before they reach the turbo.
Monaco-based Venturi showed off its latest electric sports car, the Volage, at the Paris motor show. A joint venture with Michelin, the Volage is propelled by four in-wheel electric motors.
Alongside the traditional luxury cars, pricey exotics and thrifty urban runabouts displayed in Paris this year, an eclectic group of electric cars captured the world's attention. Some represented radical visions for a more distant future, while others are in the production pipeline, and could hit the market by early next decade. Below are some of the standouts, launch the gallery for a further look.
Earlier this month, Japanese media reported Honda and Yamaha were each planning a line of electric motorcycles by 2010. The new bikes, which reports say can travel up to 60 miles on a charge, will use lithium-ion batteries for power. Now, word from Japan's Mainichi news service is Honda is also planning new gas-electric hybrid motorcycles.
If you thought the rise of petroleum caused global economic upheavals, just wait until we start producing electric-car batteries in mass quantities. That's the warning from Glenn Bell, CEO of Air Fuel Auto. Bell told reporters at this weekend's Alt Car Expo in Santa Monica the need for precious metals and other raw materials for next-generation batteries could have a ripple effect on the global economy. Of course, Bell isn't a passive observer; he's got his own answer to the alternative-fuel question. You're breathing it.
California's Central Valley, that blistering flatland of artichoke fields criss-crossed by the occasional four-mile straightaway, would seem the perfect place to open up a big engine. But as I arrived in Davis, California, on the day my parents moved there from Seattle, I was hit with the sudden realization that I had, in fact, chosen the perfectly wrong trip on which to test BMW's monstrous M6.
Davis, it turns out, is possibly the bike-friendliest town in the nation.
Not to be outdone by GM's Chevy Volt hoopla last week, Chrysler today revealed three prototypes from its own electric-car program earlier today on CNBC. Who knew Chrysler had an electric-car program? Practically no one. But the company calls it ENVI, pronounced "envy," and the first consumer product from the program could appear as early as 2010.
The world has turned upside-down. The US government is the hottest ticket on Wall Street, Cadillac builds European sports sedans, Saab markets SUVs, and now Hyundai makes a $42,000 luxury car. Someone e-mail the Bizarro Justice League, stat.
The 2009 Hyundai Genesis has been a long time coming for the South Korean automaker. Years ago, Hyundai introduced to the American market an ignoble range of economy cars that, unadjusted for inflation, cost the equivalent of pocket lint. It's a different company now. To mangle a Pink Floyd lyric, 20 odd years may have gotten behind Hyundai Motor America, but it didn't miss the starting gun.
After months of anticipation, Chevy releases its final Volt design
By Seth FletcherPosted 09.16.2008 at 12:41 pm 33 Comments
Today, after a nearly two-year tease, General Motors unveiled the final design for the car that it hopes will save the company: the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, the world's first production plug-in hybrid. The Volt is designed to drive 40 miles on a single charge of its giant lithium-ion battery; after that, an onboard 1.4-liter four-cylinder flex-fuel engine kicks in to power the electric motors that drive the car. GM will most likely make 10,000 of the cars in the first year of production; it's expected to go on sale in November 2010.
The first Japanese hatchback I ever loved was a borrowed, battered 1978 Honda Accord CVCC. It was punchy and raw, light as a laundry basket and it loved to be tossed into a dusty bend and coaxed back out. It was just the thing for a teenaged-hack Stig Blomqvist with more hormones than money, and I returned it reluctantly, a changed not-quite man.
It has the profile of a Toyota Prius interpreted by the late Maxime Faget, designer of the Space Shuttle. It's the Hinterland 1, a conceptual all-electric minivan with a drag coefficient of less than 0.25 (the Prius's is 0.26). And if its designers get their way, it'll become a Canadian icon on par with the CN Tower, Geddy Lee and Poutine.