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?
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.
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.
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.
Chevrolet's 2009 Corvette ZR1 is the best thing to come out of Detroit since Dearborn-style pistachio baklawa. I don't say that lightly; pistachio baklawa is spectacular.
Leading with a headline-grabbing horsepower figure, the ZR1 delivers sharp, predictable handling, unjarring road feel and performance as barmy on pavement as on paper, all without artifice or intimidation. Yes, it’s a Corvette, and while that may confound anyone who assumes the badge signifies rough trade, the ZR1’s excellence won’t surprise anyone whose watched GM’s Corvette program evolve over the past decade.
The auto-manufacturer aims high with a limited run of Cali-bound e-Minis
By Mike SpinelliPosted 07.09.2008 at 1:18 pm 15 Comments
As California returns to requiring automakers to sell zero-emissions vehicles, BMW is apparently aiming to get in first on the gold rush. Automotive News reports BMW will export an electric version of its Mini to California. The state's zero-emissions vehicle program will require nearly 60,000 plug-in cars to be sold in the state between 2012 and 2014.