Advertisement
more top stories »

Automotive


— Automotive

VW's clean diesel BlueSport concept: more economical than the Prius, with 80% more power

January 13, 2009 The latest generation turbo injected clean diesels are already delivering proper sportscar performance at fuel economy levels that beat even the updated version of Toyota's pedestrian Prius hybrid - and Volkswagen's major concept debut at Detroit's Auto Show is determined to ram home the point. Using similar technologies to what VW subsidiary Audi has employed in its Sportback concept, the VW BlueSport concept's 54mpg fuel economy makes a mockery of the third-generation Prius's 50mpg, while delivering nearly twice the horsepower. A compact, corner-carving roadster, the BlueSport looks like a real giggle. Read More
— Automotive

Toyota's 2010 Prius breaks cover

The third-generation Toyota Prius 50 MPG hybrid was revealed today at the 2009 North American International Auto show. The new Prius features a more aerodynamic shape, larger 1.8 liter petrol engine with optional roof-mounted solar panels and intelligent park assist. Unfortunately the 2010 Prius is not yet a plug in hybrid and still comes with a relatively small Nickel-metal hydride battery so EV only mode will not exceed approx 5 miles. While the current model Prius is EPA rated at 46 mpg, the third-generation Prius has increased fuel economy to an estimated 50 miles per gallon for the new Prius (it has not been EPA rated as yet). Read More
— Automotive

Subaru Legacy Concept close to 2010 production car

January 13, 2008 Marking the 20th anniversary of the Subaru Legacy (Liberty in Australia), Subaru unveiled a concept model that suggests the direction of the next model Legacy four-seat sedan, due for release in 2010. Indeed, from reading between the lines, we understand this is very close to what we’ll see in showrooms later this year or early next. The model again features Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel drive system mated to a 3.6-liter six-cylinder Boxer (horizontally-opposed) engine - the dash and centre console feature touch-screens and rear vision is accomplished by cameras, in a theme that Subaru has christened "High Definition". There’s a longer wheelbase and a higher roofline for more interior space, legroom and headroom, but we’d have preferred to see the 2.2 litre diesel engine – do we really need a 3.6 litre petrol engine for a family car? Read More
— Automotive

Audi presents its Sportback concept, a preview of the 2010 A7 sedan

January 13, 2009 While the firebreathing 5.2-litre V10 R8 supercar is clearly the performance king of Audi's Detroit NAIAS lineup, the Sportback concept unveiled does an excellent job of marrying performance, economy, stunning looks and practicality. Its 3-litre, 6-cylinder direct-injection turbo 'clean diesel' engine puts out 225 horsepower and 550 Nm, for a top speed over 150mph - and yet its average fuel economy nearly tips 40mpg. Ultra-low CO2 emissions are the result of smart decisions throughout the car, from the advanced exhaust emissions control, to electric systems like the power steering that consume no energy when they're not immediately in use, to automatic engine stop-start at the traffic lights and power-smart sunlight-white LED headlights. The Sportback's ultra-clean lines and fastback hatch somehow make this four-door coupe look sportier than some of its two-door contemporaries. Beautiful. Read More
— Automotive

In the flesh: BMW's 2009 Z4 roadster with retractable hardtop roof and adjustable ride height

January 13, 2009 We previewed the new Beemer Z4 roadster back in December - now we've had a chance to dribble on it at the Detroit NAIAS. The hardtop convertible is as slick and sporty as you'd expect, but its posing credentials are backed up a serious performance focus. Dynamic Drive control gives you three engine mapping/stability settings for the 300hp twin turbo inline 6 engine, to control your degree of hooliganism. Adaptive suspension with electronic damping control can adjust ride height on the fly, and adapt to road conditions so quickly that if you hit a bump with the front wheels, the back wheels will be adjusted in time to deal with it. The gearshift is accomplished either through an extremely short-travel manual 6-speed, a standard paddle-shift auto or a ripping seven-speed double-clutch sports auto. Bavarian beauty, brains and brawn in a 150mph top-down giggle machine. Read More
— Automotive

Opulence meets economy: Lexus debuts its first fuel-sipping dedicated luxury hybrid

January 13, 2009 In keeping with the strong theme of efficiency over gas-guzzling muscle at this year's Detroit NAIAS auto show, Lexus has introduced a new hybrid sedan to its lineup, slated to go on sale in Q3 2009. 30% more fuel-efficient than anything else in the Lexus range, the 187-horsepower, 4-cylinder HS 250h is an acknowledgement by the biggest-selling luxury car brand in the USA that even the cashed-up luxury market wants to control its use of fossil fuels. While the HS 250h is miserly on fuel (Lexus claim it will drink less per mile than the tiny Smart Fortwo) it's still a big spender on the interior, with some serious driver assist features, heads-up display, radar-governed cruise control, parking cameras and a voice-controlled nav/premium audio system. Read More
— Automotive

GM to manufacture Chevy Volt battery packs in the US

General Motors is getting back into the battery business. It had been a two horse race between Korea’s LG and US startup A123 systems to win the supply contract for the Chevrolet Volt. LG Chem and Compact Power Inc. were one team and A123 Systems/Continental the second team selected from an initial field of 27 applicants to compete against one another to build the Chevy Volt’s battery packs. GM announced in September 2008 that it had chosen a battery supplier, but would not reveal which company that was. But has either team actually won? Read More
— Automotive

Jaguar’s new 225 mph XFR and XKR

Jaguar unveiled all-new supercharged 510bhp XFR and XKR at NAIAS today, and announced that the new XFR prototype has already run a top speed of 225.675mph (363.188km/h). The new XFR is the first XF to carry the ‘R’ designation which defines Jaguar’s most performance-focused models. Powered by a new supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine developing 510PS and 625Nm of torque. But for the production car’s electronically limited 155mph top speed, it would be the fastest Jaguar ever, even faster than the 217.1mph (349.4 km/h) set by the XJ220 in 1992. The Jaguar XJ220 held the record for the highest top speed of a production car until the arrival of the McLaren F1 in 1994. High-speed runs play a large role in the history of the Jaguar marque, with this May seeing the 60th anniversary of the Jaguar XK120's record-breaking 132.6mph run set in 1949. Full details of the new models inside. Read More
— Automotive

Toyota EV Concept confirms Battery-Electric car in 2012

January 12, 2009 As we reported would happen last month, Toyota today announced the Toyota FT-EV concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), confirming its plan to launch an urban commuter battery-electric vehicle (BEV) by 2012, based on the same platform as the award-winning iQ. Toyota’s FT-EV concept imagines an urban dweller, driving up to 50 miles between home, work and other forms of public transportation, such as high-speed rail. Although, for now, the FT-EV remains a pure concept, it represents a natural pairing of product strategies. Read More
— Automotive

First glimpse: Fisker Karma S

Fisker Automotive has just taken the wraps off the much anticipated technology demonstrator that will become the second model in its plug-in hybrid sportscar range at the 2009 NAIAS. The new two-door, four-seater, hard-top convertible joins the four-door sedan model announced at last year's show and is built on the same versatile Q-DRIVE platform on which the company's range will be based. The sedan model, which boasts a 50 mile electric-drive only range, acceleration of 0-60 in 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 125mph, remains on track for delivery later this year, while the Karma S is expected to hit showrooms in 2011. Read More
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement