Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Mike Hanlon

Infiniti's long awaited range-extended electric Emerg-E sports car has been shown in Genev...

Infinit's long awaited range-extended electric sports car the Emerg-E has been shown in Geneva and the specs we've been awaiting are official: 402 bhp (300 kW), 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds; a top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h); a 300-mile (483-km) range using the three-cylinder range-extender with 30 miles (48 km) electric-only; CO2 output of 55 g/km (NEDC cycle).  Read More

The most interesting aspect of the motor, is that it is the first of the new EA211 series ... Volkswagen's Polo BlueGT was shown at Geneva this week running a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine.The most interesting aspect of the motor, is that it is the first of the new EA211 series of engines which shut down two of the engine's four cylinder under light and medium loads (below 4,000 rpm, and at torque outputs of less than 100 Nm). Does it work? You bet 140 bhp, a top speed of 210 km/h and using the seven-speed DSG tranny, 4.5 litres per 100 km (62.8 mpg) consumption and CO2 emissions of 105 g/km.  Read More

The Ssangyong XIV-2 convertible concept SsangYong's new XIV-2 "convertible" concept car broke cover this week at the Geneva Motor Show and it appears there's every chance it will see production. The premium convertible CUV (crossover utility vehicle) is a derivative of SsangYong's 2011 XIV-1 show car, and SsangYong has announced production in various body styles. Extensive gallery for this story.  Read More

Tata Megapixel Global City Car full of surprizes

Tata Motors showed the Tata Megapixel concept at the Geneva Motor Show overnight - it's a four-seater range extended electric vehicle (REEV). An evolution of last year's Pixel concept, the Megapixel uses four in-wheel 10 kW motors and a 325 cc single cylinder petrol engine that generates 22 kW while charging the lithium ion phosphate battery. The result is a range of 900 km (559 miles) and an electric-only range of 87 km (54 miles). The Megapixel has several other killer party tricks, including acutely turning wheels which give it a turning radius of just 2.8 meters (9.2 ft), which is small enough to do a U-turn in a narrow street, and an inductive home charging system - park over the induction pad and it charges itself without needing to be plugged in. There's also some very useful automatic sliding double doors.  Read More

Valentino Rossi tucked in at full noise on the 1000cc Ducati Desmosedici MotoGP bike. If you've been having trouble comfortably wrapping your brain cells around the concept of what were once proud national symbols of excellence changing countries, such as the Malaysian-owned Lotus, the Chinese-owned Saab and MG or the Indian Jaguar and Range Rover, then please be seated before reading further. It seems that India's Hero MotoCorp, the world's largest manufacturer of both bicycles and motorcycles is considering the purchase of Italy's deeply loved manufacturer of sports motorcycles, Ducati.  Read More

The BRABUS BULLIT Stealth Coupe 800 It's the ultimate sleeper! Brabus' US$500,000 matte-black stealth coupe has no outward pizzazz whatsoever (at least to the untrained eye), but with a 788 bhp twin-turbo V12 under the hood, it can hit 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, 200 km/h in 9.8 seconds, 300 km/h (186 mph) in 23.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of more than 370 km/h (230 mph).  Read More

The new Cross Coupe to be seen at the Geneva Motor Show. We first saw Volkswagen's plug-in petrol-electric hybrid Cross Coupé concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. Now there's a new Cross Coupé concept to be shown at the Geneva Motor Show this week that use a turbodiesel direct injection engine (TDI) and two electric motors to achieve 1.8 liters per 100 km (around 157 mpg) with CO2 emissions of just 46 g/km.  Read More

If 24% of drivers aged 17-24 were driving around drunk, there would be a massive public ou...

New research released today by the Institute of Advanced Motorists in the UK doesn't tell us much we didn't know before, but it does put it in context. The smartphone is headed for ubiquitous usage, and the wonderful real-time communications and information services it offers are making the roads considerably LESS safe due to the distraction. Due no doubt to its higher levels of engagement, social networking while driving is considerably less safe than texting, drinking to the legal limit and smoking marijuana. And yes, talking on a mobile phone with or without a hands-free is definitely not good for your health, or the health of other road users.  Read More

The unveiling of the Ferrari F12berlinetta at the Geneva Auto Show

When Ferrari's new 740 bhp, 6262cc, 65° V12, F12berlinetta hits showrooms later this year, it will be the fastest naturally aspirated car to see series production, taking over from the McLaren F1. The replacement for the 599 is the fastest Ferrari ever and boasts an array of technologies we haven't seen before, such as Aero Bridge, Active Brake Cooling, a new generation of carbon-ceramic brakes (CCM3), a further evolution of the magnetorheological suspension control system (SCM-E) plus the usual E-Diff, ESP Premium, F1-Trac, and high-performance ABS control systems.  Read More

The featherweight foam-reinforced Tegris composite monocoque gives the emcycle the kerb we...

The potential for electric-assisted, human-powered vehicles to play a substantial role in the transport systems of the future is immense, and there has never been a better example of this potential than the Emcycle concept. The Emcycle is a tilting, three-wheeled pedelec (electric pedal assist), with a foam-reinforced, Tegris composite monocoque body, full suspension and a kerb weight of just 36 kg (80 lb). The Emcycle is initially planned as a 500 W electric assist but could easily be built in 1000 W (1 kW) and greater versions. Importantly, the Emcycle offers many of the amenities of a car (instrumentation, wipers, entertainment etc), plus weather and crash protection, and a huge lockable carrying capacity. In terms of weight, the Emcycle can safely carry 320 pounds (144 kg), including the weight of the rider, making it ideal for the citybike rental and inner urban delivery markets. A target price of US$4000 to US$5000 is envisaged.  Read More

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