How does GM encourage adoption of its mild-hybrid system? Make it standard
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 01.20.2011 at 12:15 pm 2 Comments
“Mild” hybrids, with their puny batteries and weak electric motors, have largely failed in the marketplace. Next to “full” or “strong” hybrids such as the Toyota Prius—which has a sizeable battery pack and a powerful electric motor and can run under electric power for short stretches—cars like the now-discontinued Chevrolet Malibu hybrid were more expensive than the conventional model but provided only a negligible boost in fuel economy. With the 2012 Buick LaCrosse, however, GM is launching eAssist, a mild-hybrid system that the company hopes will change that equation.
Unless you live in, oh, Palm Springs, convertibles are better in concept than reality. With the top on, a pleasure machine can become a cramped, compromised ride. And even when the weather is perfect, backseat passengers can expect a case of windburn. But with the 2011 E-class Cabriolet—the fourth and final member of the redesigned E line—Mercedes is betting that gadgetry can beat the elements.
The Smart ForTwo microcar proved that some American car buyers—more than 37,000 of them, according to parent company Daimler's latest sales calculations—like it small. And now, with the EPA proposing average fuel-economy standards of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, more car companies will begin relying on pint-size transportation to make their fleets legal. That will require convincing far more than 37,000 drivers that tiny can be cool. These four new cars are designed to do just that.
A new set of chips gives super-slim cellphones the power of laptops
By Michal Lev-RamPosted 04.28.2009 at 10:36 am 4 Comments
Think of Toshiba's TG01 cellphone as the world's smallest PC. It powers 3-D games, plays high-definition movies, and smoothly runs many programs at once, a combo few other phones offer. Yet it's less than four tenths of an inch thick — 20 percent thinner than an iPhone — thanks to Qualcomm's Snapdragon system, which packs several previously separate chips into one case the size of a dime.
Get the latest traffic info with cellular-equipped GPS
By Sean PortnoyPosted 04.03.2009 at 12:31 pm 1 Comment
Avoid bottlenecks with TomTom’s GO 740 LIVE. It uses the same kind of chip as a cellphone to retrieve traffic updates every two minutes, instantly recalculating your route to detour around jams. The wireless connection also allows drivers to zap info, such as their current location, to pals who own a GO 740 or future models in the company’s LIVE series.