Suddenly electric-car prototypes are everywhere. We’re not talking about the dubious concept cars that have long been a staple of the big international auto shows. These are actual, drivable electric vehicles (EVs) built by major automakers and assigned honest-to-God production dates as early as late next year. Their arrival suggests that this latest, much-hyped electric-car revival might just happen after all. Here’s a look at what’s coming.
This year's New York International Auto Show was quiet, a confab for a shrinking industry. Sales have been tanking steadily for nearly every manufacturer. The corners of the showroom floor occupied by potentially doomed brands, like Hummer, felt a little like mausoleums. Still, plenty of automakers fought through the pain and unveiled interesting cars, which you can check out here.
The Icon A5 is user-friendly plane made for land, air, water—and your driveway
By Eric AdamsPosted 06.13.2008 at 10:54 am 4 Comments
It's not quite a flying car, but after landing, you can tow the Icon A5 home and park it in a garage. It’s one of the first civilian flyers to feature automated folding wings, which slim down the mini seaplane so it can fit on a custom trailer. (An amphibious version offsets the extra weight of landing gear by trading the motorized wings for a manually folding set.)
With the help of YouTube, a lap around the legendary (and publicly accessible) Nürburgring in Germany is becoming a new gold standard of auto performance
By Mike SpinelliPosted 05.20.2008 at 5:02 pm 2 Comments
Back in 1946, Mechanix Illustrated writer "Uncle" Tom McCahill began measuring cars' performance by how quickly he could launch them from a standing start to 60 miles per hour. That measure, evocative in its simplicity, quickly became the standard for judging a passenger car's performance, and a perfect proxy for advertisers to capture the excitement of driving in a single phrase. Zero to 60 in a scorching 5.5 seconds!
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.
Nissan’s GT-R puts a Formula One engineering team in your dash, so your driving skills will be as well-tuned as the engine
By Brian AshcraftPosted 02.12.2008 at 5:14 pm 2 Comments
The touchscreen in Nissans new $70,000, 480-horsepower GT-R sports car does more than show you the fastest route to the shopping mall—it makes you a better driver. The system logs data such as steering angle and G-force so performance freaks can squeeze the very most out of the car. And a gearshift map shows when to shift for optimal fuel efficiency.
Inexpensive and efficient, the smallest cars are finally available in the U.S.
By Stephan WilkinsonPosted 03.09.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Small streets and pricey fuel have shaped the European car market to favor smaller cars. In fact, what we call a compact car is a midsize on the continent. But now that Ameri- cans are feeling the burn of expensive gas, automakers have responded by bringing a fleet of smaller-than-subcompact vehicles to our shores. Unlike previous stripped-down econoboxes, these will be equipped to appeal to both the budget-minded and the car-savvy consumer.
By Dawn StoverPosted 12.05.2001 at 1:41 pm 0 Comments
The 2002 Altima is a much larger vehicle than its predecessor -- almost 6 inches longer, 2 inches taller, and more than an inch wider. And its wheelbase has grown by more than 7 inches. Yet Altima´s weight has barely increased, partly because designers replaced the steel hood and trunk panels with lighter aluminum ones -- a first for Nissan.