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SanDisk's G3 SSD

Hard drives have been the bottleneck in modern PC performance for some time now, and while SSD technology has led to new levels of performance, the price point has left a lot to be desired. Enter SanDisk, with a new range of SSDs based on multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory. SanDisk claims their G3 SSDs are twice as fast as prior SSDs and over five times as fast as the fastest 7200RPM HDD, with sequential performance of 200MB/s read and 140MB/s write. The price? Just over US$2 a gigabyte.  Read More

Chrysler displays EV vision - first electric vehicles due 2010

Chrysler introduced three electric-vehicle prototypes in September 2008, while expressing its intention to broaden its all-electric and Range-extended Electric Vehicle portfolio across its vehicle lineup. At the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Company unveiled updated versions of those vehicles – along with two new electric vehicles. Chrysler will produce at least one of these vehicles for North American markets in 2010 (still no word on which one), with at least three more models to follow by 2013. Between its ENVI electric-drive vehicles and GEM neighbourhood electric vehicles, Chrysler expects to have 500,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2013.  Read More

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

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

The Emperor 200 Workstation

Talk about over the top! This US40,000 contraption acts like a sedentary gamer's life-support system. Three synchronized 19" monitors adjustable to the perfect height, inbuilt 5.1 surround sound with a woofer right under your leather-coddled hiney - which is gently warmed or cooled by the seat depending on temperature, electronic posture-controlled reclining, subtle lighting, HEPA air filtration, and it gently and automatically rotates to avoid external glare. The Emperor Workstation uncoils like a scorpion to let you in, then closes in around you once you sit down to lock you into workstation world. Stick a hole in the seat with some plumbing, and sit it next to the fridge, and you wouldn't have to pause your game for ANYTHING.  Read More

Garage|Shadow turns any Bluetooth cellphone  into a garage door remote

As the smartphone captures and ever greater share of the mobile phone market, it’s clear that people want their phone to become ever more multifunctional. Unify4Life envisages a day when their products will enable a BlackBerry to interact with and control any home or office product a customer desires. The company announced US$40 Garage|Shadow at CES, which allows you to open and close your garage door from your Blackberry or any Bluetooth enabled cell phone. The previously announced US$100 AV|Shadow does the same thing for controlling a set top box, DVD, VCR, TiVo, PVR or home theater.  Read More

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

Xtremegreen's 4kW electric bike

Start-up Xtreme Green is set to release several new and highly desirable electricity-powered machines in 2009, including a 4kW (5.4 bhp) motorcycle, a 3kW (4 bhp) scooter, a 250 pound Jetboard for watersport enthusiasts with a top speed of 35 mph, and three-wheeled Police Mobility Vehicle (see image gallery). The 266 pound lightweight motorcycle is the one that appears most likely to succeed in the marketplace in the short term, with a top speed of 65 mph, 2-3 hour plug-in charge time for the built-in battery charger, and a range of nearly 100 miles. Pricing has just been announced at US$7000 and with that much power and negligible running costs, we suspect the new company has lucked out in delivering the right product at the right time.  Read More

Subaru Legacy Concept close to 2010 production car

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

Audi's Sportback concept

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

BMW's 2009 Z4 roadster

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

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