Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Flex Fuel

E-Flex Hydrogen Fuel Cell continues move toward electric drive automobiles

April 21, 2007 The number of significant announcements coming out of the Shanghai Motor Show underlines the growing importance of the Chinese Auto market on the world stage, and fittingly, given that the Chinese Government seems far more committed to sustainable personal transport than its American equivalent, the star of the show in technological terms was the next iteration of the General Motors’ E-Flex electric architecture, configured with the company’s newest, most efficient hydrogen fuel cell system to date. This second variant of the E-Flex system uses GM's new fifth-generation fuel cell propulsion technology and a lithium-ion battery to provide up to 300 miles (483 km) of electric driving. The fuel cell E-Flex is a true Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) and operates all-electric from both hydrogen fuel cell-generated electricity and grid electricity. It is plug-in capable, adding up to 20 additional miles (34 km) each time it is charged, further reducing trips to the refueling station.  Read More

Proton unveils prototype Hybrid Car Developed In Collaboration With Lotus

April 16, 2007 Malaysia’s National auto manufacturer Proton has unveiled its first Hybrid prototype, designed in collaboration with Lotus Engineering. It is just over two decades since the company bolted together its first cars from Mitsubishi parts imported from Japan, but as the company has grown in strength, it has acquired considerable engineering design, development and manufacturing expertise, pulling off a major coup with its acquisition of Lotus in 1996. The 'EVE Hybrid' (Efficient, Viable, Environmental) research and development project was a collaboration of Proton and Lotus and EVE sports some impressive vital statistics. EVE has a 1.6litre petrol engine, which uses a 'micro-hybrid' start-stop system, a full parallel hybrid drive and a continuously variable transmission to achieve fuel economy of 5.6 litres/100km. maximum torque of whopping 233Nm at 1500rpm and maximum power of 105kW at 5500rpm enabling the car to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 9.0 seconds with a top speed of 188.8 km/h.  Read More

The plug-in hybrid carving three-wheeler from Venture

February 17, 2007 UPDATED IMAGES Venture Vehicles has formally announced in Los Angeles, the development of a revolutionary (not to mention very cool), 3-wheel, tilting, plug-in Hybrid vehicle under the working name VentureOne. It’s a two-passenger Hybrid vehicle that will get 100 mpg, accelerate from 0-60 in 6 seconds, will have a top speed of over 100 mph, while being priced at under US$20,000. In addition to the low-emission, flex-fuel Hybrid model, a zero-emission all-electric version is also being developed that will have an all-electric range of nearly 200 miles. A key feature of the VentureOne is the patented Dynamic Vehicle Control tilting technology from Dutch-based Carver Engineering that allows the body of the vehicle to actually tilt when going through turns while all three wheels maintain firm contact with the road. Carver already sells petrol-engined versions of the machine, and the Phiaro 3-wheeler is also closely based on the Carver. But a plug-in hybrid with a 200 mile electric range and sportscar performance is very enticing. Production is not scheduled until late 2008 and Venture Vehicles will initially offer two propulsion packages for the VentureOne: the hybrid E50 and Q100, and all-electric Venture EV model. The US$23,000 all-electric model will top the range while the E50 hybrid will sell for US$18,000 and the Q100 hybrid is expected to be priced under US$20,000.  Read More

Mazda Ryuga Concept captures the spirit of motion

January 9, 2007 As we’ve previously mentioned, Mazda does great show cars, and the promise of the Nagare concept was more than fulfilled when the metallic manifestation of those sketches we previewed became a reality. The word Nagare is one of a hundred or more Japanese words that describe the embodiment of motion – such as how wind shapes desert sand, the way currents stir the ocean’s floor or the way waves lap at the shores of a lake. van den Acker explains, “Nagare is purposely emotional and expressive. Anyone who sees it is drawn for a closer look; they’re moved to caress surfaces inspired by nature, to understand how they could work on an automobile.  Read More

Lincoln MKR Concept

January 2, 2007 Lincoln is pulling the wraps off a new concept car at the North American International Auto Show next week, signaling its design strategy for the next-generation of premium American vehicles and launching a new engine family. The Lincoln MKR concept introduces the company’s new “elegant simplicity” design language on a four-door coupe that also features environmentally friendly amenities and fuel-saving technology, including its TwinForce engine. The concept’s 3.5-liter gasoline twin-turbocharged direct-injection V-6 performs comparably or better than V-8 engines, delivering 415 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque on renewable E-85 ethanol.  Read More

British Racing (Very) Green Lotus

August 24, 2006 Lotus has always danced to a different drum. When the rest of the world was building muscle cars in the sixties and seventies, it went the other way. Light weight, superb handling, miniscule frontal areas and svelte aerodynamic efficiency became the hallmarks of Lotus roadsters which always did more with less. Now the Lotus brand is further extending its values towards the responsible use of resources with the Lotus Exige 265E which runs on environmentally friendly bio-ethanol E85 - 85% ethanol alcohol and 15% petrol! As the Exige uses a supercharged and intercooled engine, Lotus engineers saw the opportunity to prove the point that green sportscars can offer high performance by exploiting the performance characteristics of ethanol. Ethanol has a high octane rating, which allows an optimum timing for engine ignition and has a fast flame speed in the combustion chamber, so the fuel burns faster, increasing the efficiency of the engine. Ethanol has less stored energy per unit volume than gasoline so the fuel economy is less, however as E85 ethanol is 85% sourced from renewable bio matter, there is a net reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2). The beauty of using ethanol though, is its ability to produce more power in the engine than with conventional petrol and the Exige 265E is the most powerful road Exige ever. The Exige 265E now produces 264 bhp at 8000 rpm (up 21% over the petrol Exige S), and 184 lbft of torque at 5500 rpm (up 16%). The performance figures are pretty healthy for a green machine: 0-60 mph in 3.88 seconds, 0-100 mph in 9.2 seconds and a top speed of 158 mph!  Read More

Chevrolet unveils new Avalanche with E85 FlexFuel

February 12, 2006 General Motors introduced the latest rollout of its next-generation full-size truck family, the 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche, at the Chicago Auto Show. The Avalanche combines the passenger-comfort of an SUV with the cargo capability of a truck and the new 2007 model offers more power, better fuel economy and optional E85 flex-fuel capability. E85 FlexFuel vehicles can run on any combination of gasoline and/or E85, a fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. E85 can contribute to energy independence because it diversifies the source of transportation fuels beyond petroleum, and it provides positive environmental benefits in the form of reduced greenhouse gas emissions.  Read More

Ford's V10 Super Chief concept runs on hydrogen, ethanol or gasoline

January 8, 2006 – The Ford F-250 Super Chief concept uses what the company calls "Tri-Flex fueling", enabling the supercharged V-10 to run for 500 miles between fill-ups on hydrogen, E85 ethanol or gasoline. The tri-fuel flexibility is one possible innovation by Ford to help pave the way for hydrogen vehicles, as the nation's ethanol and hydrogen fueling infrastructure continues to develop. The concept truck and its name are inspired by the bold, American Super Chief trains of the nation's past. Super Chief is Ford's most advanced, well-appointed pickup ever – designed to build on the standard for interior excellence established by the new F-150.  Read More

SAAB launches 9-5 BioPower flex-fuel models

November 14, 2005 , Saab Great Britain has announced that it is taking orders for the Saab 9-5 BioPower, a flex-fuel car whose fossil CO2 emission level can be reduced by as much as 70 per cent compared to a standard petrol-engined car. Saab BioPower technology means that the 9-5 model is capable of running on either a high-blend mixture of eco-friendly renewable energy source bioethanol and petrol (E85), or on pure petrol, without any adjustment required by the driver. Initially available with the 2.0t, 2-litre light-pressure turbo engine, UK prices for the Saab 9-5 BioPower begin at GBP21,651 on the road for the Saloon, and GBP22,851 for the Estate variant. A manual transmission will be available from launch, with an automatic variant to follow shortly after. First UK deliveries will commence in January 2006. The BioPower engine will be available in all 9-5 2.0t model ‘forms’; Linear, Linear Sport, Vector and Vector Sport, with a GBP600 price differential over the regular petrol models. The introduction of the Saab 9-5 BioPower into other countries will require more than just Saab’s good will though – an infrastructure will be necessary to supply fuel for the BioPower.  Read More

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