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Automotive

Mitsubishi i-MiEV CARGO and PX-MiEV Plug-in hybrid crossover concepts

The 41st Tokyo Motor Show in October looks set to lift the veil on the first wave of Japanese electric cars we’ll actually see in mainstream distribution, so it’s incredibly exciting to see what will be rolled out as we are entering the pre-announcement period for the show. Mitsubishi’s MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle ) lineage gets two new offspring concept cars – the PX-MiEV (PX stands for Plug-in hybrid crossover) and the i-MiEV CARGO. The CARGO in particular looks like it will fill an immediate need for emission-free delivery vehicles in the world’s most congested cities and, not surprisingly, although it’s classed as a concept, the company is currently accepting pre-orders for delivery in April 2010. Read More

Mazda’s eco-friendly next-generation engines to debut at Tokyo Motor Show

Mazda's “Technologies for Tomorrow” display at the upcoming Tokyo Motor show will see the premiere of its next-generation direct injection gasoline Mazda SKY-G engine and Mazda SKY-D clean diesel engine, which offer improved eco-friendliness and torque thanks to optimized combustion efficiency. Mazda will also reveal the first next-generation automatic transmission, the Mazda SKY-Drive, which offers first-rate fuel economy and a direct driving performance feel. As part of Mazda’s SKY concept, the new engines and transmission are designed to help Mazda achieve its goal of improving the average fuel economy of Mazda vehicles 30 percent by 2015, compared to 2008 levels, without sacrificing performance. Read More

Luxury on wheels - the 2010 Brabus Viano “Lounge Concept”

If your better half has put the kibosh on your dream of owning one of the ten BRABUS E V12 Black Baron’s, then maybe you’ll have a better chance at talking them around to the more family friendly BRABUS Viano “Lounge Concept” if it ever makes the jump from concept car to commercial reality. Described as an “exclusive office and movie theater on wheels” the concept takes a Mercedes van and packs it to the brim with state-of-the-art entertainment technology, so you’re not likely to hear the kids whine, ‘are we there yet?’Read More

DRIVSCO ‘learning vehicles’ alert their drivers to dangers

Scientists from six European countries have collaborated to develop a new computer system that enables vehicles to recognize their drivers’ normal behavior and therefore avoid accidents caused by unusual behavior. The DRIVSCO system detects the anomalies, often caused by inattention or poor visibility, and signals an alarm that warns drivers to beware early enough to give them time to react.Read More

Parrot RKi8400 car stereo designed with iPhone in mind

Parrot has released a car stereo at IAA designed for iPhones and iPods. The Rki8400 uses Bluetooth, has a USB port for hard drives or USB keys, SD Card reader and a double line-in socket for analogue sources. It provides hands-free telephony functions and another great feature is a storage compartment behind the removable front panel that hides and recharges your iPod or iPhone. That means no more cords tangling around gear shifts, or iPhones sliding around the vehicle during braking or cornering maneuvers. Plus, of course, a bit of extra security.Read More

Brabus E V12 ‘one of ten’ unveiled at IAA 2009

German performance vehicle manufacturer Brabus has done it again with the “world’s most powerful high-performance sedan”. Brabus has a history of churning out high performance sedans, but the new Brabus E V12 'one of ten' unveiled at IAA 2009 outdoes all previous efforts. Dubbed the 'Black Baron', the car features a newly-developed SV12 R Biturbo 800 12-cylinder displacement engine boasting a rated power output of 800hp (788bhp), which is able to propel the car to a ridiculous top speed of more than 370kmh (230mph). Read More

Ferrari 458 Italia debuts at Frankfurt

The Ferrari 458 Italia finally saw the light of media flash bulbs on the Ferrari stand at the 63rd IAA Frankfurt Motor Show yesterday after a series of online sneak previews. We've written extensively about the car previously, an evolution of Maranello’s mid-rear engined V8 sports cars and, as usual with Ferrari, the 458 Italia is a concentration of innovation thanks to the company’s racing expertise. Employing exactly the same techniques and methods used to develop the Scuderia’s F1 cars, Ferrari’s engineers concentrated their efforts on obtaining the maximum in terms of efficiency in every aspect of the car, and their commitment was repaid with levels of fuel consumption and C02 emissions that set the benchmark in this market segment – 13.3 l/100 km and 307 g/km respectively in the combined cycle (ECE+EUDC).Read More

Volkswagen’s electric E-Up! Concept – 84 mph and 80 mile range

Volkswagen showed an all-new electric vehicle, the E-Up! Concept, at Frankfurt yesterday, indicating strongly that the car will be very close to the production model we’ll see in 2013. The 81 PS (54 PS constant) front-wheel-drive E-Up! can accelerate to 62 mph in 11.3 seconds before reaching a top speed of 84 mph. The E-Up! weighs just 1,085 kg (it’s lithium-ion batteries weigh 240 kg) and will have a range of over 80 miles.Read More

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