After a fresh round of investment, the Norwegian firm plans to bring its small, efficient vehicles back to North America
By Mike SpinelliPosted 04.24.2008 at 3:49 pm 17 Comments
A Norwegian electric-vehicle manufacturer best known for a Y2K-era commuter-car venture with Ford is plotting a solo return to the states. Flush with cash from Silicon Valley angel investors RockPort Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins, Caulfield and Byers, THiNK North America plans to start selling a version of its 95-percent-recyclable City car to US buyers starting in 2009. The company also plans to introduce the larger Ox (pictured) by 2010/2011.
To break the world land speed record, you need a marketable driver
By Gregory MonePosted 04.22.2008 at 11:45 am 4 Comments
A racing team led by 66-year-old Ed Shadle is gunning for the world land speed record of 763 miles per hour—their goal is to break the 800 mark. Shadle has spent a decade and $150,000 getting ready, and transforming an old jet into his potentially record-smashing ride, the North American Eagle. The car boasts 42,000 horsepower, and will supposedly do 0 to 800 in just 20 seconds. And it's entirely green, running on solar . . . no, just kidding.
The big news, though, is that Shadle is looking for drivers.
A European research project aims for the "uncrashable" car
By Mike SpinelliPosted 04.21.2008 at 1:17 pm 3 Comments
Transport a 2008 Toyota Camry back to the "Car of Tomorrow" exhibit at the 1964 World's Fair and they'd never buy the hype. "Seven airbags?" they'd say, "And no jet pack? Yeah, sure." Those were the days before Ralph Nader penned his auto-safety call to arms, "Unsafe at Any Speed," putting auto safety on regulators' and engineers' short lists for the next several decades. And it's far from over: A massive road-safety research initiative in Europe is aiming for a technological framework within which cars would be entirely smash-proof.
More people are buying hybrid cars, but the greener vehicles are still a relative rarity on the road
By Gregory MonePosted 04.21.2008 at 11:12 am 0 Comments
In 2007, registrations of new hybrid vehicles jumped by 38 percent to 350,289 vehicles, according to a new report from R.L. Polk & Company. Gee, I wonder why? Maybe it's got something to do with rising prices at the pump, or climate change. Or maybe there's something bigger at play.
An Italian gearhead constructs a sportster of his own design entirely by himself over four years
By Mike SpinelliPosted 04.17.2008 at 5:26 pm 11 Comments
digg_url = 'http://digg.com/autos/Hand_Made_Hurricane';
What's in Northern Italy's water that leads industrious people to spend great portions of their lives building race cars? Who knows. Maybe the FIAs been pumping diolefin-rich racing fuel into Emilia-Romagnas reservoirs, thereby insinuating Formula One into the local tortellini Bolognese.
The new X6 features tight integration with the big G's online mapping service
By Mike SpinelliPosted 04.16.2008 at 2:56 pm 1 Comment
Here's my dream road-trip ritual: Pull up an address in Google Maps, beam it to the car by some wireless technology and load it to the nav system as a destination. If there's a relevant phone number, sync it with my Bluetooth phone. Then locate all the In-N-Out Burger locations in the area and cross-reference them with local gastroenterologists, just to be safe.
The world hasn't quite turned my way just yet, but BMW just introduced a fairly close approximation for US customers on its new 2008 X6 Sports Activity Coupe
Tesla says the founder of rival Fisker Coachbuild stole confidential information in order to build a competing vehicle.
By Seth FletcherPosted 04.15.2008 at 3:46 pm 2 Comments
High drama in the electric car world: According to the New York Times, electric sports-car manufacturer Tesla is suing Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler of Fisker Coachbuild, charging that Fisker fraudulently signed on to design Teslas White Star sedan, sabotaged the sedan project by doing substandard work, then stole confidential information and went on to build a competing car—the Fisker Karma.
PopSci’s new automotive guru flogs one of the year’s most anticipated
sports cars—the 2009 Nissan GT-R
By Mike SpinelliPosted 04.11.2008 at 5:54 pm 5 Comments
digg_url = 'http://digg.com/autos/Racing_The_2009_Nissan_GT_R';
This is the first post by PopSci's new Contributing Editor and automotive blogger, Mike Spinelli. An automotive-focused writer, blogger, and Sirius radio host, Mike left a career in technology market research to become founding editor of New York-based automotive website Jalopnik.com in 2004. Check back each day for his blog posts on PopSci.com, and watch for his byline in the magazine as well. —Eds.
Get on the brakes right here, says the voice in my head. Move to the inside and let the car drift outward to the right. Then cut in hard and itll set you up for this next tight bit. Now get right on the speed again. The voice was that of New Zealander Steve Millen, veteran race driver and instructor of journalists gathered to sample the 2009 Nissan GT-R. Earlier, with Millen at the wheel, wed shot through the same section of Nevadas Reno-Fernley raceway -- a 200-degree banked left called the Horse Shoe followed by a quick right that opens into a nearly straight run -- while he narrated the action as casually as if over a pot of Earl Grey. Now I was doing it solo and, I might add, astonishingly well.
A unique engine prototype cuts emissions and consumption without sacrificing power
By Matt RansfordPosted 04.09.2008 at 2:48 pm 3 Comments
Earlier this month, we told you about an alternative oil for 2-stroke engines made from beef tallow. As you may remember, 2-stroke engines are tiny and powerful, but inefficient and heavy polluters. For years, engineers have tried to combine the efficiency of a 4-stroke engine with the power of a 2-stroke, only to come up short because the technology was simply not yet advanced enough. A team of UK researchers have finally solved that puzzle with a prototype they call the 2/4SIGHT.
Live digital television broadcasts come to handhelds and highways
By Sean CaptainPosted 04.02.2008 at 5:57 pm 0 Comments
For all of todays in-car entertainment options, live, local digital TV still isnt one of them. Even at home, digital television signals can break up if you wiggle the antenna, and you cant get a picture at all in a moving vehicle. But soon, you may see flawless video even if your set is barreling down the road at more than 100 mph.