2015 Detroit NAIAS Auto Show


Lancia Ypsilon Sport Momodesign Super Mini

June 27, 2007 Fiat-owned Italian luxury auto manufacturer Lancia has partnered with MomoDesign to create a designer version of the company’s Ypsilon mini to be known as the Ypsilon Sport MomoDesign which hit the Italian market last week. The most stunning aspect of the car is its 105 bhp 1.3 multijet, 16V engine diesel engine which gives it a top speed of 177 km/h. So what? Well, that makes it faster than you’re legally allowed to drive anywhere, and the low carbon footprint of the vehicle makes you feel like a responsible citizen the while the 4.7 l/100 km fuel consumption will make you feel intelligent. Yes, we know that still means diddly to most people, so how does 60mpg (UK) and 50 mpg (US) sound?  Read More

Mitsubishi launches flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) Pajero TR4 in Brazil

June 26, 2007 Mitsubishi is to launch the first full-feature four-wheel drive flex-fuel vehicle (FFV), onto the Brazilian market. The Pajero TR4 Flex will be launched in July and is derived from the Pajero TR4 currently assembled and sold in Brazil. The Pajero TR4 Flex features several modifications including the use of different materials, modifications to the engine, and changes to the fuel system that allow the vehicle to run on any combination of gasoline and ethanol. Modifications to the engine control unit allow for optimum combustion with any fuel mixture, and the 2.0-liter 16-valve engine delivers similar levels of performance on ethanol-heavy or gasoline-heavy fuel mixes.  Read More

Carries up to 80kg

June 25, 2007 We’ve recently encountered the inflatable washing machine, inflatable home theater and even the inflatable conveyor belt, but the HandiRack inflatable roof rack takes all the points for sheer practicality and widespread appeal. Able to carry up to 80kg, the cleverly designed roof rack can be installed in minutes and stashed away in the boot when not in use to ensure that your car's aerodynamics (and appearance) remain intact.  Read More

The Lightning Electric Car: sleek design meets high performance

Electric cars just keep getting sexier. Once the domain of TreeHuggers, they have now reached a level of design and performance that will appeal to even the most die-hard of sports car fans. We've seen the Venturi Fetish, Connaught, Tesla, MINI QED and ZAP-X Crossover SUV, all of which show that not only are electric motors just as good as the internal combustion engine for producing power, they're better, and cleaner and more cost-efficient and... now there's the Lightning.  Read More

Tiny but mighty - the Kubota RTV1100 luxury mini-utility

June 21, 2007 Sitting somewhere between a golf cart, an ATV and a tiny utility, Kubota's RTV1100 is a curious-looking vehicle. But this fun little diesel-powered 1123cc getabout delivers a new level of quiet, air-conditioned comfort, hard-working, all-terrain performance and roll-cage safety. These and other practical innovations should combine to make it a very popular vehicle for those who work on large, spread-out properties.  Read More

The British Steam Car is aiming for a 200mph land speed record.

June 21, 2007 Acting as a champion for alternative fuels and engine design, the group behind the British Steam Car Challenge has a lofty goal in its sights; a record-breaking 150mph run on British soil, followed by a 200mph run on the Bonneville salt flats of Utah. Steam engines run on external combustion, meaning they're not fuel specific like internal combustion engines. The steam-powered streamliner will run a 12,000rpm turbine engine producing 225kw of power.  Read More

Toyota develops next-generation engine valve mechanism

June 19, 2007 Toyota has developed a new form of valve actuation for internal combustion engines which it claims improves fuel efficiency by 5 to 10 per cent, enhances throttle response, reduces CO2 emissions, and boosts power by at least 10 per cent. To be known as Valvematic, the new design offers a variable valve lift mechanism created through combining VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent), which controls the timing of intake valve opening/closing, with a new mechanism that can also control the intake valve lift volume. The first application of Valvematic will be in a new 2.0-litre engine being introduced in the near future.  Read More

All-electric Phoenix SUT

June 18, 2007 Another step towards exploding the perception that electric vehicles will never have the grunt, range or practicality of their oil guzzling, high-emission counterparts has been taken in California with a record charging time demonstrated for the all-electric Phoenix SUT (Sport Utility Truck). The milestone demonstration by AeroVironment saw the 35kWh (kilowatt-hour) battery pack developed for use with the Phoenix fully-charged in less than ten minutes - enough to power the five-seat utility for 100 miles.  Read More

Accutag's wireless fleet management system

June 17, 2007 Got a sneaking suspicion your employees might be driving your company's fleet cars like they stole them? Fleet cars are a significant expense for a company, and ensuring they're treated well, both by drivers and mechanics, can reap rewards in maintenance costs, insurance and resale value. That's why many companies are starting to use automated, wireless fleet diagnostics systems. These clever devices plug into the CPUs of fleet vehicles and silently relay information back to the fleet manager on a range of maintenance, running information and fault issues. They can also tell you who's been a leadfoot in the company car - including how much time they've spent over the speed limit, how much fuel they're using, and a range of other information that can help instil a sense of accountability in fleet car users.  Read More

June 16, 2007  Lightweight wheels are a must-have for automotive enthusiasts as they signi...

June 16, 2007 Lightweight wheels are a must-have for automotive enthusiasts as they significantly decrease unsprung weight and improve handling characteristics accordingly. Though fiber-composite materials are used in elite motorsport, and promise better long-term performance than their metal counterparts, they have been unable to make their way into the mainstream due to a lack of suitable testing methods. Standardized testing methods exist for conventional rims made of steel or aluminium, but there is doubt as to whether the testing methods for metal wheels can be applied to composite materials. Now German researchers have created a new method which can reliably simulate how an individual composite wheel will cope with the stresses of driving on public roads, including hitting the curb and potholes, and the meeting of quality standards, without destroying the wheel.  Read More

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