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Automotive

The pressing need for a shift to efficient, low-emission vehicles has seen an array of eco-friendly models showcased by major auto manufacturers in recent times, but this new era of personal transportation also provides a starting point for smaller players with fresh ideas to enter the marketplace. Fitting squarely into this category is Aptera Motors, a Californian based company that has just announced the official launch of the Typ-1 - a radical new three-wheel, two-seat design available in all-electric or plug-in-hybrid versions that bundles bleeding-edge aerodynamics, incredible fuel efficiency and a strong focus on safety in a package that will cost less than USD$30,000. Gizmag spoke to Aptera Co-Founder & CEO Steve Fambro on the technology behind these eye-catching vehicles and the future plans for the company as it moves rapidly into the commercialization phase. Read More
It seems Honda is gearing up to be the one of the first major companies to bring a hydrogen fuel cell car to market – their FCX Clarity is set to go to production in 2008, in a move they’re hoping will break the catch-22 dilemma stopping motor companies from producing cars because there’s no hydrogen distribution, and stopping fuel companies from distributing hydrogen because there’s no cars that use it. To nurse consumers through the infancy of the hydrogen economy, Honda’s also attempting to decentralize the production of hydrogen through their Home Energy Station unit, which sits outside your house and reforms natural gas to produce enough Hydrogen to power both the car and the home’s energy needs at around 50% of the normal cost and with a 30% emissions reduction. Read More
November 22, 2007 Honda UK has announced the launch of a new Internet TV portal that will deliver on-demand viewing of the company's films, video clips and adverts including a closer look at Honda's cars, driving tips and racing coverage. Read More
November 22, 2007 In an effort to introduce portable satellite navigation without the clutter of wires or the use of unsightly suction cups, Volvo has developed a new mounting bracket for Garmin’s latest satellite navigation unit that can be fitted to all new Volvo cars. Read More
German automotive performance specialist Brabus has added to its long list of automotive records by achieving 330.6 km/h (205.2 mph) in a Maybach 57 at the high-speed test track in Nardo, Italy. Labeled the world’s fastest and most exclusive ultra-luxury sedan, the high-perfomance Maybach 57 is powered by a 6.3-liter, 730-hp/ 537-kW BRABUS SV12 S Biturbo engine originally developed for the BRABUS ROCKET, the record breaking four-door car based on the Mercedes CLS series which set a speed record for street-legal sedans of a head-spinning 365.7 km/h (227.2 mph) back in October 2006. Read More
November 20, 2007 A Swedish industry group has outlined its long-term vision to make future goods transportation entirely CO2-neutral. The commendable project is being undertaken by Volvo Trucks together with the Centre for Environment and Sustainability (GMV), Preem Petroleum AB (the largest oil company in Sweden), Schenker (one of the world's leading providers of integrated logistics services) and Vägverket (the Swedish Road Administration). Read More
News from Caparo that its T1 high-performance two-seater sports car has smashed the leading lap time on the BBC's Top Gear motoring program by seven seconds. But there is a catch – the car wont appear at the top of the lap board because the car's inability to negotiate a speed hump doesn't meet the criteria specified by the programme makers. Drawing on its formidable power-to-weight ratio of more than 1000 bhp/tonne, the T1's lap time of 1:10.6 unofficially beat the previous record held by a modified Koenigsegg CCX. Read More
November 20, 2007 More from Mercedes-Benz on the Silverflow - one of the standout designs we recently encountered as part of our coverage of the Los Angeles Design Challenge, a conceptual showcase of “blue-sky” designs from eight studios entitled "Robocar 2057" that's currently being held as part of the 2007 L.A. Auto Show. With a brief to explore the possibilities of transport in 50 years time, Mercedes-Benz has presented a vision of a sleek, shape-changing vehicle that could adapt to the users needs in various scenarios, transforming from highway cruiser to compact city car or economical two-seater at the push of a button. Read More
The Logan Renault eco² Concept has achieved emissions of 71g/km while traveling a distance of 172.2km on just 4.69 litres of biodiesel at the 2007 Challenge Bibendum in Shanghai – an event created by Michelin in 1998 that promotes sustainable transport and the development of fuel-efficient, clean automotive technology. In NEDC combined cycle homologation tests for the eco² it achieved a result of 97g CO2/km and finished second out of 74 vehicles in a combined criteria test involving an acceleration test, a slalom test, noise emissions and a regularity run. To put the emissions results in perspective, a compact diesel achieves around 130g CO2/km and the exceptionally green smart fortwo diesel comes in at 88 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Read More
November 14, 2007 After two years of ferocious testing, Ferrari have made large-scale improvements to one of the most extreme supercars they’ve ever built. Available only to a select handful of owners (including 7-times Formula One champ Michael Schumacher), the FXX prototype now makes a ridiculous 860 horsepower (641.3kW) at a screaming 9500RPM, and incorporates the absolute bleeding edge of barely-filtered F1 technology. Never intended for road use, the car can only be driven at trackdays approved by Ferrari, and all driving data is fed back into the Ferrari roadcar development program. Read More
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