India's Reva says drivers of its new electric cars can call or text the company for a remote power boost. Is there a groundbreaking wireless technology afoot, or has something been lost in the translation?
India's Reva electric car company has a UK hit on its hands with the diminutive G-Wiz, an increasingly common addition to London traffic. This year, the company will introduce a new model, the Reva NXR -- a four-seat, three-door hatchback -- and plans to unveil a two-seat sports car, dubbed NXG, at next week's Frankfurt motor show. But what's got the electric-car world talking is something the company calls REVive -- a new feature purported to allow a driver who finds himself with insufficient battery charge to get an "instant remote recharge."
Could Reva be ready to roll out an inductive recharging system that would work over the course of miles instead of just a tabletop? (And is Japan involved?)
You can't buy one until 2011, but Tesla Motors' Model S sedan looks so good on the road, we might just tack one of these shots to our bedroom wall
Tesla's new teaser photos may be the first ones showing the new Model S sedan in mid-flog, but don't expect to catch one along the coast highway just yet. Tesla says the first deliveries of the $57,400 all-electric sedan (with a $7,500 government rebate check in hand, the price will drop just below 50 large) will commence in 2011. The company says they've already taken more than 1,000 pre-orders, along with deposits of $5,000 a pop. Here's to you, early adopters.
It may be ugly, but the Gumpert Apollo just proved it's the quickest production car around Germany's grueling Nürburgring. Apparently supercars aren't dead after all
The Gumpert Apollo Speed may be uglier than a naked mole rat (please, don't Google the rat, trust me), but it's also ridiculously fast. So fast, indeed, that the Apollo this week set the fastest lap time of any production car around German's legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife. Why does that matter? It proves some people will never stop manipulating physics for purposes of speed, no matter how much time others spend on fuel efficiency. Twenty-six-year-old racing driver Florian Gruber did the lap in 7:11.57, taking a 10-second bite out of the Dodge Viper's record of 7:22.1.
Japan's Keio University created the shocking Ellica, an electric supercar that could out-run some of the world's fastest exotics. Now for their next trick -- public transportation.
It resembles an early '70s Citroen sedan, recast for Blade Runner-era Los Angeles. But this Japanese-built electric oddity, dubbed Ellica by its developers at Keio University, will reportedly spawn something with a bit less techie-sex appeal -- a bus. The university announced a deal last week with Isuzu Motors Ltd, the Kanagawa prefectural government, among others, to develop a full-sized electric bus for Japan based on the eight-wheeled, 230-mph research project.
First Ferrari, now Lamborghini. Will high-end hybrid sports cars soon be stalking the world's boulevards?
In an interview with Germany's Automobilewoche trade paper, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann says the Audi-owned sports car maker will launch a hybrid model by 2015. Surprising news for a company whose V10 and V12 engines are best known for converting large quantities of premium unleaded into blazing speed? Not really. Officials from rival Ferrari have said, as often as anyone will listen, that a hybrid Ferrari is on the way -- the exact same year. What a coincidence.
Mazda redesigns the Mazda6 to face down stiff competition from Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Chevrolet, then the world falls apart. Tough break or opportunity to make a quiet impression?
It's not easy to be a runner-up in the midsize sedan market especially, as sober-voiced commentators say, in "these economic times." Cue thunder. Inevitably, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord suck up all the market share, while the up-and-coming Chevrolet Malibu -- and the company that builds it -- steal headlines, offer discounts and win sympathy cash. What's a backfield player like Mazda supposed to do?
For $995, Chevrolet will turn your 2010 Camaro into a movie star. Just don't expect sci-fi performance as well
Like many, I prefer my cars with few adornments -- aside from an air-freshener tree if the dog's on board. Most often, cosmetic packages cost too much for what you get -- a couple stripes here, a few shiny dashboard panels there -- and tend to revel in the kind of lily-gilding enjoyed by Housewives of Insert-Name-of-Well-Heeled-American-Suburb-Here. But fans of the Transformers movies may think differently about Chevrolet's new package, which will turn a stock Camaro into the heroic Autobot called Bumblebee. Of course, the Transformers edition Camaro won't do much to ward off evil Decepticons stalking your garage, nor will it add much to the stock Camaro's performance.
A former IBM engineer says his latest invention can turn regular cars into plug-in hybrids for between $3,000 and $5,000. He could be on to something.
It fits into a wheel hub and can double a car's fuel economy. That's the claim of Dr. Charles Perry, who says his plug-in hybrid retrofit kit can save America 120 million gallons of fuel per day. Big talk. But then, inventors betting on revolutionary uphevals need to talk as big as they think. The former IBM electrical engineer designed the kit to transform existing automobiles into hybrids by placing an electric motor inside each wheel. Perry recently took first prize for his invention at a green energy competition at the Tennessee Technology Development Corp.
Twenty years ago, Ford took aim at European sports sedans and fired a tweaked-out Taurus across their bows. By the time the Europeans stopped laughing, that Taurus was over the horizon and gone. Now, the SHO is returning. But who’s laughing this time?
The 2010 Ford Taurus SHO reprises a work order first issued in 1989: an austere midsize car outfitted with a hotter engine and stiff suspension, which can carve canyons like an upmarket luxury sled and costs thousands less than such cars from, ahem, Those German Brands. This go-round, Ford’s added bold styling, a comfortable and attractive interior, tons of usable space, a twin-turbo V6, even more lateral grip and quicker responses. The result is a machine greater than the sum of its parts, and the best car Ford’s ever built.
For years, automotive futurists have been waiting on an industry meltdown to re-configure the auto industry. Could Sweden become ground zero?
This week, a boutique builder of million-dollar supercars snapped up an established automaker with nearly 5,000 times its yearly output of vehicles. What's the deal? Is it a matter of super-hubris or another sign of a coming paradigm shift in the auto industry?
The car TV star surpasses BMW to set a new hydrogen-car speed record in a vintage streamliner with a funny name.
Call it the Dees-Milodon Engineering-Davis B Streamliner. That's the name of the vintage speedster in which automotive celeb Jesse James this week set the land speed record for a hydrogen-powered car. The daredevil star of Spike TV's "Jesse James is a Dead Man," reportedly hit just shy of 200 miles per hour in the modified, 40-year-old streamliner, breaking a previous record set by BMW.
Cars powered by hot-swappable batteries could join motorcycles at next year's all-electric Gran Prix on the Isle of Man.
A pit crew swarms around an open-wheel racecar, but instead of hoisting a fuel-fill tank they hot-swap its battery packs and send the driver back into the race. That could be the scene at next year's TTXGP -- an all-electric motorcycle race set for its inaugural running this Friday on the UK's Isle of Man. The event's organizers announced this week they were seeking to include four-wheeled vehicles for 2010.
Now rolling out of GM's soon-to-be-shuttered Wilmington, Delaware plant, The Solstice Coupe GXP goes from zero to sixty in 5.5 seconds. It's almost cruel that the clock is running down
Is it too late to save the company that invented the muscle car?
Patent drawings from Kawasaki uncover a new night-vision system that'll give riders a view beyond a bike's conventional headlamp.
New motorcyclists are taught early not to out-drive their headlamps. Now, night riders (of the non-Hasselhoff variety) may soon owe Kawasaki a debt of gratitude for improving their safety after dark. The Japanese bike builder is reportedly fast-tracking new infrared night-vision technology to use on production motorcycles.
Buyers should expect a few tweaks and a higher price
Will US car buyers adopt a car the size of a laundromat dryer, that costs as much as a sofa? Ratan Tata, chairman of India's Tata Motors, hopes they will. Automotive News reports that Tata is floating plans to bring a version of the $2,500 Nano minicar to the US within three years.
Chairman Tata made such remarks this week at a Cornell University forum in New York City. Deliveries of the Nano to buyers in India, where only one in one thousand people own a car, are scheduled to begin in India next month.