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Automotive

CT&T goes amphibious

Korean Electric Vehicle specialist CT&T has been out in force at all the major shows recently, each time showing more and more capability and ever more alluring product. The company, founded by a former Hyundai Executive, now has more EV manufacturing capacity than any company globally, with plants in Korea and China and a new facility planned fior the United States and hence claims the title, "the world's largest electric vehicle manufacturer" At Detroit, it showed three really interesting vehicles including its C2 two-seater open-top sports car with a top speed of 93 mph, a tiny electric city car with a top speed of 65 mph (range 70 miles) and an amphibious electric vehicle with 40 mph top speed on land, and 10 mph on water.Read More

Subaru's treat for the eyes: the Hybrid Tourer Concept

Subaru rolled-out its Hybrid Tourer Concept this morning in Detroit and what a feast for the eyes it is. Featuring gullwing doors, an array of screens including one integrated into the steering wheel and a wide open interior facilitated by a flat floor design, the Hybrid Tourer first seen at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show is a showcase for the company's planned development of a gas/electric hybrid system based on the boxer engine set to hit the market in 2012. Read More

Mini Beachcomber Concept revealed

Despite the widely publicized December pre-announcement, Mini still managed to make a splash with the debut of its Moke-inspired Beachcomber Concept at the 2010 NAIAS earlier today. In the flesh the compact SUV Concept looks like a whole lotta fun - no roof, no doors and some clever details to add to its beach-going credentials such as run-flat tires, a rear-mounted spare wheel compartment that's really a lockable storage space and a dedicated case for cycling and swimming goggles between the rear seats. Gizmag was on the scene in Detroit to snap these pics, and yes, that is a guy in a shark suit behind the wheel.Read More

Honda’s CR-Z hot production hybrid takes a bow

Honda made the first commercial hybrid and cut the path for the rest of the world’s auto makers more than a decade ago. Now it is in the process of trailblazing the path for desirable hybrids with the release of its all-new CR-Z which made its world premiere at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today. The ingredients are all top shelf: a six speed manual gearbox, a 1.5 litre i-VTEC engine coupled to Honda’s IMA hybrid system, a flexible 2+2 seating arrangement, 3-mode drive system, 56.4 mpg from a sports car, light good handling chassis … but the package is integrated and that’s what makes the Honda CR-Z hot, hot, hot! We are very impressed!Read More

Audi e-tron Detroit concept - smaller, lighter, but still wicked

Following on from its wow factor appeal at the Frankfurt motor show last September, the next model e-tron from Audi is aptly called the Detroit show Audi e-tron, and has been unveiled here in ... err, Detroit. Now you’d think it would logically be the same uncompromising purist all-electric sports car from Frankfurt but everything is much more compact with a much shorter wheelbase and gross weight has been cut to 1,350 kg. Two electric motors with a combined output of 150 kW (204 hp) and 2,650 Nm (1954.54 lb-ft) accelerate the coupe with ASF-design aluminum body from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.9 seconds. Most importantly, the Detroit Audi e-tron has “torque vectoring which enables it to distribute its high torque between the wheels entirely as required for unprecedented levels of active precision and traction. Audi claims the e-tron drives like a go-kart – agile, good on bends and neutral right up to its very high handling limits.Read More

BMW Concept ActiveE all electric vehicle unveiled at NAIAS

As we forecast back in December, BMW delivered the electric car everyone knew was coming today at the NAIAS. The BMW ActiveE Concept is an all-electric vehicle powered by liquid-cooled Li-ion batteries and is based on a 1 Series Coupe. It has rear wheel drive and is expected to boast a range of roughly 160 kilometers (100 miles) on a single charge, while BMW's ConnectedDrive allows control of the heating and AC system using a mobile phone, which can also be used to access battery information or locate charging stations.Read More

Toyota's FT-CH Concept - a smaller and lighter hybrid than the Prius

As part of its theme of "electrification" Toyota revealed at the 2010 North American International Auto Show it is planning a Prius family of vehicles. One model that is being considered for adoption into this family is the FT-CH (concept hybrid) vehicle. The FT-CH would have a lower price point than the Prius and is 6" shorter than the current Prius on the outside, but only 1" shorter in the interior cabin. It is also half an inch thinner and is lighter than the current Prius, which also helps make it more fuel efficient.Read More

GMC Granite Concept - Industrial chic meets compact urban functionality

Combining an urban-industrial design aesthetic with flexible functionality, the GMC Granite ‘urban utility vehicle’ concept was introduced at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit today. “We think of the Granite as the automotive equivalent of an urban loft apartment,” said GMC's Cross-Brand Design Director Dave Lyon. “The exterior has an unmistakable industrial look, but the interior is warm and personalized.” Though the Granite is the smallest GMC ever, it has been designed to feel bigger with a large cargo space and its flipping/folding seats and four doors, hinged on each side to open like a set of French doors. There’s no pillar between the front and rear doors, making the Granite easier to enter, exit and load, even with bulky items. . Power comes from a 1.4L turbocharged engine matched with a six-speed transmission.Read More

Volkswagen unveils Compact Coupe Concept in Detroit

Volkswagen kicked-off what it promises will be a big year in Detroit this morning with the world premiere of the Compact Coupe. Described as a car that appeals to the "head and heart in equal measure", the four-seat, front wheel drive hybrid concept combines miserly fuel economy of 45 mpg (combined) and CO2 emissions of 98 g/km with performance figures of 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds and a quoted top speed of 141 mph (227 kmh). Read More

Kia offers 7-Year/150,000 km warranty on all cars sold in Europe

Korean auto maker, Kia, has announced a seven-year/150,000 km bumper-to-bumper, parts-and-labour warranty for all vehicles sold and registered in Europe from January 1, 2010. This is far-and-away the longest fleet-wide warranty ever offered by a car manufacturer anywhere at any time and the move could have far reaching consequences. Brands with big reputations are charging two, five, even ten times as much for a car as Kia, yet they are clearly unprepared to guarantee their quality to the same extent, and this might well be the point the public finally understands that new price does not reflect quality, that quality is measurable, and that reputations for quality are distinctly at odds with reality. At very least, as the warranties are fully transferable to subsequent owners, Kia resale values should skyrocket.Read More

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