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Automotive

Tesla to use Panasonic's Nickel-based lithium-ion batteries

Electric carmaker Tesla Motors and electronics giant Panasonic have announced that they will be collaborating on development of next-generation battery cells for electric vehicles. Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel says “Combining Tesla’s rigorous cell testing and understanding of EV requirements with Panasonic’s cutting-edge battery technology will result in custom cells optimized for use in EVs.” Panasonic’s nickel-based lithium-ion battery cells will be included in Tesla’s newest battery packs, due to their high capacity, light weight, durability and long life. According to Panasonic, they are the highest energy density battery cells currently in production.Read More

Valentino Rossi becomes the world's hottest property on 2 and 4 wheels

It is interesting to note that the three biggest stories in Formula One right now concern a driver who competed in 2010 but not in 2009 (the Michael Schumacher comeback), a driver who competed in 2009 but not 2010 (Raikkonen loses his drive and goes WRC) and a driver who has never competed in F1 and quite possibly never will – Valentino Rossi. Indeed, Rossi has only ever driven an F1 car six times, but his status as one of motorcycling’s all-time greats and one of the most popular and media-savvy sportspeople of all time make the possibility an incredibly enticing prospect. For Ferrari, Rossi brings a global army of fans and the possibility of a rare Italian driver-car title combination that hasn’t happened since Alberto Ascari in 1953, despite 15 drivers titles and 16 constructors titles for the marque since then. This week Rossi tested in a Ferrari F1 car again, and was so fast that the possibility might now be approaching a probability.Read More

Raikkonen hoping for a late Christmas present

Just two years ago, Finn Kimi Raikkonen was the reigning (2007) World Champion in the world’s most prominent television sport, and the number one driver for the world’s most famous racing marque, Ferrari. Forbes rated him the 26th highest paid celebrity in the world, the fifth highest paid sportsperson and the highest paid driver in the world with a weekly pay cheque of US$1,000,000. Late last year he lost his job in the cutthroat game of musical chairs played by the top half dozen drivers in the world and decided to sit out 2010 by driving rally cars. This weekend he starts his new job in a town made famous by none other than Father Christmas – could there be a belated Christmas Gift in the offing?Read More

The fourmidable MINI Countryman – four doors and 4WD

MINI is to add the MINI Countryman to the family. A genuine Crossover, the MINI Countryman bridges the gap between the classic concept of the MINI and a modern Sports Activity Vehicle. The Countryman will be the fourth MINI in the range, first MINI with four doors and a wide-opening rear lid, and it also comes with optional MINI ALL4 all-wheel drive. Fourmidable indeed!Read More

Honda’s NSX supercar replacement shows its face

The press release is one of the shortest ever. It reads: Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today introduced the HSV-010 GT, which will compete in the GT500 class of the 2010 Super GT Series.” Accompanied by 20 stunning images, and one set of alluring specifications, what the press release didn’t say was, “this is the NSX replacement we shelved due to the GFC and now that the economy is looking better, we’re gonna race it and see how we go at drumming up interest.” With a weight of just 1100 kg, the HSV is not a V10 as rumoured, but a short-stroke (93.0 x 62.5mm) 3.4 litre V8 producing 500 horsepower. The roadcar is not expected any time soon, but Honda should consider global interest suitably stimulated, cos it's a little ripper.Read More

Mitsubishi’s all-new ASX compact crossover to debut in Geneva

Mitsubishi will be unveiling the Euro-spec version of its ASX all-new compact crossover at the 80th Geneva International Motor Show in March. The ASX seats five, and can be expected to leave a very small carbon footprint with its all-new Euro 5-compliant 1.8L turbocharged direct-injection diesel engine which comes with “Automatic Stop & Go” and 6-speed manual transmission.Read More

The highest and lowest depreciating cars of 2009

There’s no question that picking up a new car makes for a very special day, if for no other reason that the value that disappears when you drive your pride and joy off the showroom floor makes it one of the most expensive days of your life. The latest edition of Parker's annual depreciation report surveys 300 model ranges in the UK market, and lists their value in good condition with 10,000 miles on the clock one year later. Accordingly, the depreciation cost of one year for every model can be calculated, and the most and least expensive cars are hereby presented:Read More

Older drivers - Safe or unsafe?

The world's population is aging rapidly, with implications in numerous areas, not the least of which is that the number of male drivers over the age of 70 will double in the next 20 years, and the number of female drivers over 70 will treble. Does this pose a greater risk on the roads? A new in-depth report released today by the UK's IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists contradicts the common assumption that older drivers are a danger on the roads, comprehensively proving that drivers over 70 are no more likely to cause crashes than any other driver, and are indeed, considerably safer than younger drivers.Read More

Automotive X PRIZE events to begin in Michigan from April 2010

Things are beginning to heat up in the race for the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, as the kick-off date for the actual on-the-road events approaches. The fun will begin April 26th in Michigan, continue through August, and culminate in a September awards presentation in Washington, DC. A number of the contenders were on hand at the Detroit Auto Show this week, where the official announcement was made.Read More

VW Turbo Diesel Touaregs finish 1-2-3: same results, different year at Dakar 2010

Volkswagen’s turbo diesel technology completed a comprehensively successful title defence in the 2010 Dakar Rally, finishing 1-2-3 with WRC legend Carlos Sainz (bottom right) finally winning the most prestigious “raid” in the world at his fourth attempt. In the motorcycles, Cyril Depres (top left) won his third Dakar Rally, after 9000 km across Argentina and Chile. He rode in triumph into Buenos Aires to complete his third Dakar victory and the tenth consecutive victory for Austrian brand KTM. Indeed, apart from Sainz and Quad bike winner Marcos Patronelli who finished second last year, all the winners were old hands. Yamaha dominated the Quads as usual with a 1-2-3, the “tsar” (Russia’s Vladimir Chagin) won the truck category for the sixth time, driving a Kamaz (bottom left). The rugged Russian Kamaz truck won EVERY stage in the 2010 event, finished 1-2 and picked up a ninth Dakar win.Read More
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