Tuesday, March 30, 2010

News You Can Use

Ford Shifts and Gains Ground in Asia
Ford has cut back on luxury models and increased output of smaller, fuel-efficient cars.

Chrysler Expects to Break Even This Year
The company also said it would present a five-year plan in April that would outline its steps to get back to sustained growth.

Toyota Sees Sales Rebounding
As executives charged with overseeing safety met in Japan, Toyota said its sales most likely rose in March.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The 6,482-pound Ghost

The 6,482-pound Ghost is 17 inches shorter than Rolls' other model, the Phantom, but still a full-size car by any measure. It's powered by a 12-cylinder engine that delivers 563 horsepower. The cabin is decked out in acres of leather and varnished wood, and the car is filled with high-tech appointments.
Price? A stunning $245,000 for the base model.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2010 Porsche Panamera

Slide Show: 2010 Porsche Panamera

Porsche says it created the Panamera to offer a sports car experience in a spacious four-door package.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Electric supercars

Highly charged motoring

Fast cars will go even faster with electric power

Mar 18th 2010 | From The Economist print edition
SOME people think sports cars are threatened with extinction by tightening restrictions on carbon-dioxide emissions and unacceptable fuel-guzzling. They fear the roar of the V8 will be replaced by the whirr of the electric armature—and that motoring will never be the same again. Well, it ought to be quieter, that is true. But the Jeremy Clarksons and J. Bonington Jagworths of this world need not fear that it will be slower.
The secret (whisper it, lest puritanical greens find out) is that electric motors are better than combustion engines. They have more oomph, and no need of a gearbox to deliver it. No self-respecting supercar should be without them. And, at this month’s Geneva motor show, at least three supercar-makers showed that they had got the message. Lotus, Porsche and Ferrari each unveiled vehicles driven partly by electric motors. These cars have petrol engines, too, to back the electric ones up; technically, therefore, they are hybrids. But that should change in the future as batteries’ storage capacity goes up, and charging time comes down. Most importantly they show that, sometimes, doing the right thing can be fun.
The launch of the Tesla roadster two years ago demonstrated that electric cars do not have to be slouches. The Californian company’s small plug-in sports car can accelerate from zero to 96kph in 3.7 seconds. It has a range of 393km (244 miles) once its lithium-ion battery pack is fully charged (which, admittedly, takes several hours). The Tesla’s rapid acceleration comes from the ability of an electric motor to deliver its maximum amount of torque at whatever speed the motor is turning.
Torque is the scientific term for turning force, and it is measured in newton-metres (Nm). The Tesla’s motor has a torque of 400Nm all the way to 5,100 revolutions per minute. An internal-combustion engine, by contrast, produces maximum torque only at certain speeds. The 2.0 litre engine of a Lotus Elise S2, for instance, peaks at 213Nm at 4,400rpm. And, whereas a gearbox is needed to use the torque from a combustion engine efficiently, it is unnecessary with the heft of an electric motor. Read more here....

Ford Interceptor: Defending home turf

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

News You Can Use

The BMW 5 series Active Hybrid concept.

BMW 5 Series ActiveHybrid

In the 5 Series ActiveHybrid, a turbocharged, in-line 6 works in conjunction with a 40 kilowatt electric motor and an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Porsche pulled off the biggest surprise at the Geneva auto show, unveiling the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid concept.

Porsche 918 Spyder Plug-In Hybrid

Porsche pulled the wraps off its 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid concept, the biggest surprise of the Geneva show.
The Ferrari 599 GTB Hybrid was displayed above a mirror that showed off the car's hybrid drive system.

Ferrari HY-KERS Hybrid Concept

Ferrari calls the HY-KERS Hybrid a "ventura laboratorio," or research vehicle, so don't expect to see this particular car make it to production.

Watch Is World's Priciest Car Key

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Rapide costs $34,000, but it can also open your car doors - if your car happens to be a $200,000 Aston Martin Rapide.

Safety Agency Backs Off Honda Recall Demand

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says that the federal agency is tough on automakers, but the results have been mixed.