Infiniti EMERG-E Debuts at Goodwood

Written By Thomas Ponco on Saturday, June 30, 2012 | 10:00 AM

Published June 30, 2012

By Huw Evans

To prove that Infiniti’s extended range EMERG-E supercar is far more than just a styling exercise, the brand unveiled “fully functional” versions at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend.

The demonstrator cars, have already taken part in the famous hillclimb, while as this is written, Formula 1 pilot Mark Webber is getting ready for a stint in the EMERG-E on Sunday.

According to Jerry Hardcastle, who is vice president of Vehicle Design and Development for the Nissan Group Technology Centre Europe, as well as Chairman of the UK’s Automotive Council, the demonstrators remain true to the original concept car shown at Geneva, utilizing twin electric motors that generate 402 horsepower, enabling 0-60 mph acceleration of four seconds and 0-130 mph in 30 seconds.

Utilizing a modified Lotus Evora chassis, the demonstrators also incorporate a Lotus developed 1.2-liter gasoline generator that produces 47 horsepower at just 3,500 rpm. Zero emissions range is pegged at 30 miles at which point the gasoline generator kicks in. Even after 300 miles Infiniti says the EMERG-E demonstrators deliver an emissions output of just 55 grams per kilometer.

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However, in order to make the EMERG-E viable as a running, driving vehicle some changes still had to be implemented. One of the most notable is the addition of front and rear spoilers.

“We added the spoiler onto the cars because we needed to balance the front and rear lift of the car,” said Hardcastle. “The spoiler was therefore specifically designed to be purely functional as opposed to being added just for design purposes."

Besides showcasing Infiniti’s potential future at Goodwood, the EMERG-E demonstrators have also been enrolled in a yearlong test program that aims to explore developments in sustainability and also what Infiniti dubs as “responsible performance.”

“In EMERG-E, we're trying to study and investigate and showcase two things: one is the potential of a mid-engine sportscar for the Infiniti range, and the second is of a new range-extended powertrain," said Hardcastle. "On the one hand we had an opportunity to make a mid-engine Infiniti sportscar, which would differentiate it from anything in the Nissan range and anything else in the Infiniti range. The mid-engine concept could have any powertrain, so we made a bold decision. Nissan and Infiniti already have a lot of technology for normally aspirated engines, turbocharged engines, diesel engines, electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. We hadn't really studied in great depth the potential of a range-extended electric vehicle though, and so that gave rise to the second opportunity to study a new powertrain as well. So in EMERG-E, we've brought the two things together."

Helping the foster the idea of EMERG-E as a viable automotive concept, the Automotive Council Technology Group has developed a roadmap, which lays out goals for automotive environmental sustainability, including reduced CO2 emissions and reduced vehicle weight.

"If you make a lightweight car, whatever powertrain you use, it will have lower CO2," said Hardcastle.

As a result, using a Lotus based chassis was seen as a logical step for the EMERG-E demonstrators, which utilizing an aluminum chassis tub and carbon fiber bodywork; have a relatively bantam curb weight of 3522 pounds.

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Buick 1942 Special Street Rod

No technical specification available

(click images for a larger view)

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Coda To Run In 2012 Clean Fuel Competition

Written By Thomas Ponco on Friday, June 29, 2012 | 4:00 PM

Published June 29, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

The CODA REFUEL team will be competing this Sunday, July 1, in the 2012 Clean Fuel Motorsports event taking place at Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.

The team will run with other EV enthusiasts in a Sport-Electric Time Trial open track event, starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m.

REFUEL 2012 is the 4th annual clean power motorsports event that brings electric car and motorcycle enthusiasts together to showcase their all-electric innovations – from production vehicles, prototypes, conversions, and purpose-built race cars and bikes – in a motorsports setting.

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With a shared passion for speed and all-electric cars, the CODA REFUEL team came together after hours to build a CODA suitable for the event. With help from sponsors and close to no budget, the team adapted a pre-production vehicle with donated parts to transform the car into an all-electric trackday vehicle.

The team did all the work on their personal time to build the racing vehicle. They incorporated a higher speed motor and modified driveline software, upgraded brakes, racing seats and harnesses, and sports suspension.

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Automotive Brands Score High In Global Sustainability

Published June 29, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

In order of succession, Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW are the automotive world's top four most eco-friendly brands. This is the result of the global sustainability ranking Best Global Green Brands 2012.

As mentioned previously, Toyota retained the number one position in the second annual Best Global Green Brands report, published by international brand consultancy Interbrand this week.

Among the front-running brands, Volkswagen climbed from sixth to fourth place, making it the most environmentally compatible German automaker as well as Germany's “greenest” company. Honda climbed four places, claiming the third spot.

Eight automotive manufacturers in the top 50 list are Toyota (1), Honda (3), Volkswagen (4), BMW (10), Ford (15), Mercedes-Benz (16), Hyundai (17) and Nissan (21).

According to Interbrand, the automotive brands’ investment in developing and marketing fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles is paying off in terms of both performance and perception.

The rankings of the Interbrand consultancy, which also publishes the renowned Best Global Brands Report, have appeared annually since 2011. Interbrand analyses the efforts of leading brands in the fields of environmental protection and sustainability as well as the perception of “green” activities by a total of more than 10,000 consumers in the world's 10 major industrialized countries.

According to Volkswagen, in comparison with some of its competitors, Volkswagen also has the edge in reality. The study shows that the brand is already greener than consumers' perceptions on the basis of specific performance data. Interbrand explains the improved result of Volkswagen by stating that the brand is oriented towards the ‘ambitious’ Group goal of becoming the world's most sustainable automobile company by 2018. The study states that this goal is being ‘constantly substantiated’ and has "measurable proof points."

Nissan appeared in this year’s Best Global Green Brands report for the first time. Nissan is making ambitious moves to reduce its carbon footprint worldwide with a new six-year environmental action plan called the Nissan Green Program. From the development of a new easier-to-install EV quick charger to pilot programs aimed at making cities EV ready, Nissan has set the stage for continued success in a world that looks poised to embrace zero emission mobility – and this is reflected in a high perception score.

Ford is listed by Interbrand as one of the top risers. This year, the brand saw significant improvement in its environmental performance around both its operations (emissions, resource industry, etc), as well as its approach to transparent engagement and disclosure on its activities and its environmental impact. While the brand ranks 15th overall, Ford’s ability to maintain strong green perceptions while simultaneously improving its environmental performance serves as a great example to other global brands.

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Jaguar Unveils XJ_e Engineering Research Vehicle

Published June 29, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

Jaguar Land Rover has unveiled its XJ_e plug-in hybrid engineering research vehicle at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The XJ_e project was created by JLR as part of its strategy to develop best-in-class low-carbon premium products, and follows other hybrid research demonstrators including the Limo Green and Range_e vehicles.

The XJ_e is an experimental version of its luxury Jaguar XJ sedan, powered by Axeon. The XJ_e demonstrates how an advanced parallel plug-in hybrid design can deliver reductions in CO2 emissions of over 70 percent, without compromising vehicle performance.

Capable of 0- 62 mph in under 6.5 seconds and with a limited top speed of 250 kph (150mph), the XJ_e achieves CO2 emissions of less than 75g/km and a zero-emission range of 40 km (25 miles) on electric power.

The XJ_e demonstrator, which is on static display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, uses a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery from Axeon.

The hybrid system uses a 69-kw motor/generator and a 12.8-kwh lithium ion battery pack, which can be fully charged by an external 240-volt domestic supply in around four hours.

The parallel hybrid design means that the XJ_e can run on petrol power, electric power, or a combination of the two, optimized by the car’s intelligent energy management system which selects the most efficient mode.

The XJ_e returns fuel economy of 3.2l/100km (87 mpg), which translates into a maximum range of 1092 km (679 miles) on a full tank of fuel.

The luxury plug-in hybrid battery weighs in at 159 kg. The battery pack makes use of the latest lithium iron phosphate pouch cells in liquid-cooled/heated self-contained modules for optimum battery management and safety.

The demonstrator vehicle is a result of a collaborative R&D project funded by the Technology Strategy Board intoRange Extended Electric Vehicles (REEV) and Plug-in Hybrids Electric Vehicles (PHEV).

Part funded by the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board through the REEVolution project, this advanced research vehicle has been engineered in partnership with leading UK technology companies to help develop expertise for ultra-low carbon vehicles within the supply chain.

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Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale

S4 / 1.290 cc / 101 PS / 83 ft/lb (113 Nm) @ 4.500 / 0 - 62 mph (100 km/h): 12,4 s / Vmax: 120 mph (193 km/h)

(click images for a larger view)

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Scrambls Sponsors KleenSpeed’s EV-X11

Published June 29, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

KleenSpeed Technologies today announced Scrambls as the primary 2012 sponsor of its EV-X11 Electric Race Car.

Scrambls is a free social media privacy service that lets you retain complete control over content you post online and who can access it.

KleenSpeed is a developer of New Energy technology intellectual property and a member of the NASA Ames Research Center.

The 2012 EV-X11 electric race car will debut at ReFuel 2012, July 1 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, Calif. ReFuel is described as the preeminent annual event showcasing the state of the art in electric vehicles.

KleenSpeed's EV-X11 shattered the ReFuel Electric Vehicle lap record on the Mazda Raceway circuit last year, its sponsors say, affirming it as the fastest electric track race car in the world. The lap of 1:38:9 broke the 2010 record of 1:42.5, also set by KleenSpeed in its prior generation car.

According to Scrambls, its product is a simple, yet secure Web browser plug-in that empowers users to control and protect messages they post to the web and social networking sites. Scrambls encodes selected content with the flip of a switch -- from e-mails and Tweets to posts on any Web site. You choose who may read your social network posts, selecting individuals or sharing with a group. Friends just need to add scrambls to their own browser to read your messages normally, while those not approved can only see a "scramble" of encoded text and symbols. Advanced scrambls control options include the ability to retract (delete) messages after publishing, or choose when a post will appear or expire. Scrambls is free for consumer use.

KleenSpeed says the EV-X11 is a symbol of its vision for a smart and clean energy future, as well as a vital R&D tool for developing advanced electric technologies.

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CarCharging Goes To Hollywood – Florida

Written By Thomas Ponco on Thursday, June 28, 2012 | 4:00 PM

Published June 28, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

CarCharging was recently awarded an exclusive contract by the City of Hollywood, Florida to provide EV charging services. As a result, CarCharging's EV charging services are now available at multiple public parking garages within the City of Hollywood.

CarCharging has deployed initial EV charging services at three locations in Hollywood, with two in the city center to serve downtown businesses, residents and visitors, and one near the beach. All three service locations were installed in public parking garages owned by the city and are there to serve community members and visitors alike.

CarCharging's service utilizes a Level II Coulomb Technologies EV fast charging station, which provides 240 volts with 32 amps of power to quickly refuel an electric vehicle's battery. The EV charging stations utilize the standard SAE J1772 connector.

EV drivers can easily register and create a CarCharging account online, and attach a small card to their keychain to initiate use and payment at any intelligent CarCharging station. The CarCharging keychain card also allows drivers to use charging locations on the ChargePoint Network, the largest national online network connecting EV drivers to EV charging stations. CarCharging also accepts direct payment via credit card.

Users can pinpoint EV charging station locations using the CarCharging map at The ChargePoint mobile application for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry smartphones also provides real-time charging station location information with turn-by-turn directions. Drivers will soon be able to reserve a time slot, guaranteeing access to EV charging stations to recharge their electric vehicle.

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Land Rover-based Bowler EXR-S looks, sounds insane

News Source: YouTube

Category: Aftermarket, Performance, SUV, Etc., Videos, Land Rover, UK, Celebrities, Off-Road

Tags: bowler, bowler exr-s, chris harris, exr-s, land rover, video

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eBay Motors dropping prices hourly on certain cars until they sell

Show full PR text
eBay Motors and AutoNation Direct "Tent Sale" – With a Twist

What's going on? It's not a limbo contest, but eBay is asking consumers to find out how low they can go in a modern version of the classic Summer Tent Sale, offering auto shoppers great deals on brand new 2012 vehicles.

Starting at Noon ET, Thursday, June 28 through 8pm ET, Monday, July 2, eBay Motors, in partnership with AutoNation Direct, will list more than 50 new 2012 cars and trucks in AutoNation Direct's eBay store, with each vehicle's listing price decreasing significantly every hour until one lucky customer decides the time is right to hit "buy-it-now" and make the purchase.

Car shoppers looking to find a great deal will have the opportunity to purchase vehicles during the sale period from a long list of popular brands such as Chevy, Dodge, Ford, Jeep, Nissan and Toyota. Each vehicle listing will appear at various times throughout the sale period in a special online showroom (, and will remain there until someone feels the discount is too good to pass up and decides to pull the trigger and buy the vehicle – before someone else does.

Promotion Features

· Vehicles for Sale – Brand new 2012 Chevy, Dodge, Ford, Jeep, Nissan and Toyota models will be on sale, including a Ford Mustang, Dodge Charger, Toyota Prius C, Ford F-150 and Chevy Camaro.

· Falling Prices, with No Basement – All vehicles will start at their MSRP pricing and gradually decrease every hour on the hour until purchased, with no minimum reserve.

· Save the Dates – The promotion starts around 12:00PM ET on June 28, 2012 and ends at 8:00 PM ET on July 2, 2012, or until all vehicles listed prior to 7/2/2012 at 8:00 PM ET are purchased. Each day of the promotion, new 2012 vehicles will be listed on the AutoNation Direct eBay store. No new listings will be posted after 8:00 PM ET on 7/2/2012.

· Purchase Details – The vehicles will be offered for sale nationally. The price includes all consumer rebates and dealer fees. Buyer will secure their winning bid with a $500 deposit.

· Buy Anytime, Anywhere – Any and all auto buffs, or those simply looking for great deals, can cash in on the promotion through the eBay Motors app. The app allows customers to shop on the site anytime, anywhere while keeping real-time tabs on the status of their targeted vehicle. As of May 2012, more than 9,000 cars and 340,000 auto parts sell every week via eBay mobile apps.

Terms & Conditions

– Includes all consumer rebates and dealer fees

– Tax, shipping, tag and title fees are additional

– Full payment is required within 3 days of auction close

– Vehicle delivery must be scheduled 48 hours following full payment

– Cash deals only, no financing

– Available first-come, first-served while supplies last

– Limit one vehicle per household

For more information on eBay Motors, visit:

For more information on AutoNation Direct, visit:

News Source: eBay Motors

Category: Car Buying, Auctions, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Jeep, Nissan, Toyota

Tags: autonation, autonation direct, camaro, camry, chevrolet, dodge, ebay, ebay motors, f-150, ford, fusion, jeep, mustang, nissan, prius c, reverse auction, tent sale, toyota, wrangler

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Westport and GM Sign Second Natural Gas Technological Collaboration Agreement

Published June 28, 2012

By Jeff Cobb

As natural gas prices continue to decline, and manufacturers make further inroads into developing engines to use it, Westport Innovations Inc. said yesterday it has signed a second agreement with General Motors for advanced engineering development for light-duty vehicles.

The Vancouver, B.C. based company describes itself as “the global leader in natural gas engines,” and says it and GM will collaborate on further natural gas engine controls, emissions and performance strategies.

“The expansion of our advanced natural gas technology collaboration with GM provides the potential for greater fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions for the industry and the consumer,” said Ian Scott, president of Westport Light Duty. “Our continued growth in light-duty is an important part of Westport’s overall commitment to innovative natural gas transportation solutions.”

The goal is one more aspect of a multi-pronged approach to curbing CO2 emissions and increasing fuel economy in light of looming mandates.

While companies have irons in the fire for every other technology including hybrid, all-electric, diesel and hydrogen fuel cells, natural gas is an available resource and the ongoing pitch is on in its favor.

“We have an abundant, inexpensive, and domestic resource in the United States, and there is great potential for natural gas vehicles to realize better efficiency, environmental benefits, and cost savings,” said John Lapetz, vice president of Westport LD and Managing Director North American Vehicle Programs.

Westport's first natural gas co-development agreement with GM took place last July. Just in this month Westport also announced it had opened a center in Kentucky in collaboration with Ford, and had signed a deal with Caterpillar to utilize its High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) technology. In May it also signed a deal with Volvo trucks among other strategic alliances it has been making.

No doubt we'll see more such natural gas collaborative agreements from Westport and others in the technological race generally intended to lead toward cleaner air and less dependence on petroleum.

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Aston Martin celebrates millionth Facebook fan with DB9 1M

Related Gallery Aston Martin DB9 1M

News Source: Aston Martin via Facebook

Category: Aftermarket, Coupe, Performance, Etc., Marketing/Advertising, Aston Martin, UK, Design/Style, Luxury

Tags: aston martin, db9, db9 1m, facebook

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BMW i3 To Cost Between $43,000-$50,000

Published June 28, 2012

By Jeff Cobb

BMW’s pending all-electric i3 city car will reportedly sell for between 35,000-40,000 euros ($43,460-$49,670) when it goes on sale in 2014.

According to the German (language) magazine Automobilwoche the price was divulged by a source close to BMW and this fits previous reported estimates for the pending green car which is now being showcased on a tour along with its sportier i8 which will cost over 100,000 euros.

The rear-wheel-drive i3 is a four-seater with good space utilization for a small car, and powered by a lithium-ion battery supplying energy to an electric motor supplying 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet torque.

The estimated range is somewhere between 85-100 miles and sprints to 62 mph are said to be accomplished in under eight seconds.

It will also be offered with an optional range extender a la Chevy Volt, and that version will be called the REx.

Automobilwoche via BMW Blog

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Mercedes-Benz (W109) 300 SEL 6,3

V8 / 6.332 cc / 250 PS / 369 ft/lb (500 Nm) @ 2.800 / 0 - 62 mph (100 km/h): 6,5 s / Vmax: 137 mph (221 km/h)

(click images for a larger view)

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Peer-To-Peer Car Sharing Community Launched In SF

Published June 28, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

A new type of car sharing experience, named SideCar, launched today after successful beta testing in San Francisco.

SideCar has been operating in beta since mid-February, and has already facilitated 10,000 rides across the city of San Francisco. The company considers itself the first on-demand rideshare community.

SideCar is a new peer-to-peer transportation community that provides members a new option for personal transportation. The SideCar app connects everyday drivers who have a car with others in the community looking for transportation options beyond hired cars, taxis or mass transit.

The mobile application is available free for download for passengers via the App Store for iPhone and GooglePlay for Android users.

Drivers can apply to be part of the community at

The community is growing quickly and SideCar is on the lookout for more drivers to share rides with people in the city. Drivers can cover the cost of vehicle ownership, maintenance and gas, all while meeting new people in their local area.

How it Works:

Riders place a request to rideshare by setting a pick-up and drop off location via the app. Once the request is confirmed, riders can view the driver approaching in real-time and see the driver's estimated time of arrival. If they choose, riders have the option to share their ETA with family and friends and rate their experience following the rideshare. Riders may also use app to make a monetary contribution to the driver. The application aggregates the current community average donations to offer passengers an easy way to decide how much to donate for their ride. No cash or other form of payment outside of the app is accepted and it is up to riders' discretion whether they make a contribution to their driver for the ride.

Drivers log in to the app when they are available to offer a ride and then receive an alert when a rider submits a rideshare request. Drivers can accept the rider's request via the app and call them to let them know they are on their way. Drivers also have the opportunity to rate their experience with the rider at the conclusion of the ride. Drivers are frequently able to cover the cost of the maintenance and operation of their vehicle as a result of their participation in the SideCar community.

To enhance safety for drivers and passengers and foster trust within the community, SideCar screens all community members who are interested in driving. Screening includes a background check, driver's license verification, proof of insurance and an interview. Additionally, the opportunity for both drivers and riders to rate their experiences helps to establish community safety and trust. Drivers or riders who receive negative ratings are flagged to SideCar and an investigation is conducted to ensure that any potential issue is addressed with minimal impact to the community.

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US Leases Now Available For Mitsubishi i

Written By Thomas Ponco on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 | 3:00 PM

Published June 27, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) has selected Ally Financial to be a preferred provider of leasing and financing for the company's all-electric 2012 Mitsubishi i.

Consumers can now lease a Mitsubishi i at certified dealers nationwide for lease payments as low as $249 per month for the base ES model equipped with a convenient high-speed CHAdeMO DC quick-charging port.

This 36 month lease is for a 2012 i-MiEV with Quick Charge package and are based on an agreed upon value equal to its MSRP of $30,675. The $249 monthly payment assumes $3,498 due at signing, including security deposit.

As a preferred financing provider, Ally Financial will begin offering leasing for other vehicles in the Mitsubishi Motors' lineup alongside Mitsubishi Motors Credit of America, Inc. (MMCA).

Ally Financial currently plays a significant role in dealer and consumer financing within the Mitsubishi network as a financial services provider. This new agreement (effective immediately) expands upon this role providing a broader set of choices to consumers when making their next vehicle purchase at one of the company's approximately 400 Mitsubishi Motors dealerships in North America.

"We welcome the cooperation from Ally's auto finance team to provide our customers with additional flexibility in leasing and financing our highly efficient, zero-emission 2012 Mitsubishi i, as well as leasing other products in our product lineup," said Yoichi Yokozawa, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc (MMNA). "This will provide small businesses and consumers with even more convenient means to finance their new Mitsubishi Motors electric vehicle, making the Mitsubishi i more attractive to those individuals and companies that want to make a difference by opting for a sustainable and highly cost-effective form of transportation."

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Another Award For GM’s Ampera

Published June 27, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

Chevrolet Volt’s twin, the Vauxhall Ampera, has added Auto Express magazine’s Green Award 2012 to its growing collection of top honors.

The UK’s best-selling weekly car magazine made the announcement at its prestigious New Car Awards held last night in London.

The Ampera, which has only just been launched in the UK, adds this latest accolade to an impressive haul of over 40 awards including the 2012 European Car of the Year, What Car? magazine’s Green Car of the Year and Top Gear magazine’s Green Car of the Year.

Sales results are confirming the popularity of the Ampera. The Volt twin is Europe’s best-selling electric passenger vehicle with a continent-wide market share of over 20 percent.

“The Ampera is a superb car that debuts technology that will play a huge part in our motoring future,” said Steve Fowler, Auto Express Editor-in-Chief. “As always, the simple ideas are the best, but putting them into a car and making it work so well, then getting it on sale, is altogether much harder.”

“We are delighted that the Ampera has received recognition from Auto Express magazine,” said Duncan Aldred, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director. “The Ampera is truly a pioneering vehicle not just for Vauxhall but for the automotive industry as a whole. Its revolutionary E-REV technology makes it the first vehicle on the market providing uncompromised electric driving."

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BMW Stops Talking to GM about Fuel Cells, May Begin With Toyota

Published June 27, 2012

By Jeff Cobb

As recently as December, BMW had said it and and General Motors were cooperating on fuel cell vehicle research, but now word has it that their agreement is no more.

"We are still talking to GM, but no longer on the topic of fuel cells," said BMW AG spokesman Alexander Bilgeriman to Automotive News today.

Instead, BMW will reportedly build on electrified vehicle research commitments with Toyota, as mentioned a couple days ago, and in March when the two automakers were said to be working on a next generation battery.

BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer and Toyota President Akio Toyoda have scheduled a press conference for Friday, so we shall see whether further disclosure on the potential alliance is offered.

In any case, as fuel cells are believed to be years away from mainstream viability, and automakers are continually being driven by regulatory pressures to pool resources to co-develop advanced technology, what the latest snippet of news will mean remains to be seen.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are essentially a form of electrified transportation but with severe cost hurdles, and lacking infrastructure, they present a “chicken and egg” barrier seen by some as more daunting than introducing battery powered vehicles to a world built on petroleum power.

No reasons for the cessation of hydrogen fuel cell talks with GM were given by BMW, and GM declined to comment as to why the relationship was curtailed.

What is known is Toyota is well along in its fuel cell development path, intends to launch its first fuel cell vehicle in 2015, but GM also has years of fuel cell research behind it.

GM has shown running fuel cell prototypes, and presently is researching the technology in cooperation with the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii, among other projects.

Perhaps we’ll learn more on Friday after the BMW-Toyota press conference.

Automotive News

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Cisitalia - Ford 808 XF Convertible by Carrozzeria Vignale

S6 / 3.528 cc / only 5 coupe and this one cabriolet were built

(click images for a larger view)

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EuroFOT Project Confirms Usefulness Of Driver Assist Systems

Published June 27, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

The final report from the EuroFOT research project, which has brought together 28 European companies and organizations, confirms that systems to help drivers avoid incidents and collisions deliver significant benefits.

According to the study, a car with adaptive cruise control and collision warning, for instance, cuts the risk of colliding with the vehicle in front on a motorway by up to 42 percent.

The large-scale European Field Operational Test on Active Safety Systems EuroFOT is a research project supported by European funds. It involves 28 organizations, including Swedish participants Volvo Car Corporation, Volvo Trucks and Chalmers University of Technology. Other automotive manufacturers involved were Audi Volkswagen AG, BMW, Daimler AG and Ford.

The project, which began in June 2008, was led by Aria Etemad from Ford’s European Research Centre in Aachen, Germany.

One hundred Volvo V70 and XC70 models with a total of 263 drivers participated in EuroFOT. All cars were fitted with cameras and sensors that registered every second of every journey for 18 months, which meant that every little incident and situation could be studied and evaluated.

These cars supplied Volvo Car Corporation's safety experts with 30 terrabytes of data from 3 million kilometers (1,864,113 miles) of driving. The final report from EuroFOT also includes material from other vehicle manufacturers.

The final report from EuroFOT clearly shows that adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning enhance traffic safety. The benefits are greatest on the motorway, where the risk of driving into the vehicle in front is cut by up to 42 percent.

Adaptive Cruise Control is used on the motorway for more than 51 percent of the total distance covered - which confirms that the system is appreciated by drivers. 80 percent of them feel that progress on the road is more comfortable and convenient, and a massive 94 percent feel safer with the system activated.

When it comes to collision warning, 70 percent of the drivers feel that it improves the level of safety.

“Thanks to the warning system, a couple of times I managed to avoid being involved in an accident when the vehicles in front suddenly slammed on their brakes,” said one participant in the study echoing a sentiment heard by others.

As regards the other warning systems, which focus on tired drivers, lane keeping and vehicles in the blind spot, the trend is also positive. However, there is not yet enough data to provide statistically significant forecasts of the accident risk reduction.

The EuroFOT participants also confirmed that the Driver Alert Control actually works.

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Ford’s 2.0 Liter EcoBoost Taurus Boasts 32 mpg

Written By Thomas Ponco on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | 3:30 PM

Published June 26, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

The Ford Taurus, the Blue Oval’s technology and performance full-sized flagship sedan, is being launched for 2013 with an optional new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

The Taurus’ new 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is certified at 32 mpg highway and a 26-mpg combined EPA rating. This new engine will produce 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque.

EcoBoost is the term Ford uses to identify its range of direct-injected turbocharged engines, and the company offers another EcoBoost engine in the Taurus, a 3.5 liter exclusive to the high performance SHO model.

EcoBoost engines are fundamental to Ford’s strategy of providing technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement powertrains that generally deliver up to 20-percent better fuel economy, 15-percent fewer CO2 emissions, and more power as well.

“Ford understands people want fuel-efficient vehicles but don’t want to sacrifice power, cargo space or convenience preferences to get them,” said Raj Nair, vice president of Engineering for Global Product Development. “Taurus fuel economy showcases Ford’s success in developing smaller yet more powerful engines for its larger vehicles.”

Fuel economy in the 2013 Taurus is additionally enhanced by an active grille shutter system. Positioned between the grille opening and radiator, the shutters are controlled by the engine’s control module. Shutter slats automatically open and close to maintain the ideal operating temperatures and optimize vehicle aerodynamics.

The release of these numbers for the large Ford sedan comes the day after Toyota released details about its new for 2013 large Avalon sedan. Available in hybrid version, the EPA says the Avalon Hybrid will achieve 40 mpg in the city, and a 39 mpg on the highway. The Avalon Hybrid achieves a total system output of 200 horsepower.

The 3.5-liter, DOHC V6 -powered 2013 Avalon achieves an EPA-rated 25 mpg combined (21 city/ 31 hwy). The all-aluminum six-cylinder engine will produce 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque.

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Bellwether California market sees share growth for Detroit automakers

News Source: Forbes, The Detroit News

Image Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty

Category: Car Buying, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota

Tags: auto sales, california, california market, california market share, car sales, chevrolet, chevy, chrysler, ford, gm, honda, toyota

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Ford Steps Closer To Having Cars Drive Themselves

Published June 26, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

Ford Motor Company is researching and developing intelligent, next-generation driving technologies designed to help address traffic jams and other future mobility challenges that come with rapid urbanization and population growth around the world.

Ford’s early prototypes of two such technologies – Traffic Jam Assist and an advanced version of active park assist – are designed to interact with a vehicle’s surroundings, reduce driver stress and help reduce traffic gridlock.

Traffic Jam Assist

Traffic Jam Assist is an intelligent driving technology that Ford is developing for the mid-term. It uses radar and camera technology to help a vehicle keep pace with other vehicles in traffic and provide automated steering control to stay in the current lane, reducing driver stress and potentially improving vehicle flow.

Individual simulation studies have found that where 25 percent of vehicles on a stretch of road are equipped to automatically follow the traffic ahead, journey times can be reduced by 37.5 percent and delays reduced by 20 percent – saving millions of gallons of fuel each year.

Traffic Jam Assist has the potential to follow the traffic ahead while maintaining lane position in environments where there are no pedestrians, cyclists or animals, and where lanes are clearly marked.

Many of the sensing technologies required to deliver Traffic Jam Assist already are available on current Ford models including the Focus, Escape and Fusion.

The developing technology would be able to respond to changing traffic situations ahead and communicate any developments to the driver. Traffic Jam Assist would also incorporate features to help ensure the driver remains alert and in contact with the vehicle controls, even when the system is active. It could also be overridden at any time.

Perpendicular parking

In the near term, Ford plans to further develop its active park assist technology, a popular feature that allows drivers to parallel park without touching the wheel. Ford is adding perpendicular parking to the parallel parking maneuvers already possible.

The enhanced system would harness the technologies introduced with active park assist. It uses ultrasonic sensors to identify suitable parking spaces, for width rather than length, and then steers the vehicle into them using electric power-assisted steering (EPAS).

Active park assist is activated by pressing a center console button. When a suitable space is detected, the system will advise the driver to stop with an audible and visual warning. The driver will then be told to put the vehicle into reverse gear and operate brakes and clutch, if needed, while the car controls the steering wheel.

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Perpendicular parking functionality would use the vehicle’s rear parking distance control sensors to monitor for obstructions not seen by the driver when backing into the space.

Where there is insufficient space to complete the maneuver in one attempt, the system might ask the driver to shift the vehicle into forward and reverse as necessary. Once the vehicle is perfectly parked, the driver gets a finish signal.

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Tesla Dealership To Be Part Of Trendy Toronto Shopping Centre’s Expansion

Published June 26, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

As Tesla continues to add to its yet-limited retail network, it has hired maverick marketers – including George Blankenship, head of sales and “ownership experience” – who are adept at reinventing non-automotive ways of sales and merchandizing.

Maybe you’ve caught wind of this ongoing story already? If so, you may not be surprised to learn one of several exclusive new retail spots due to open mid-November following a $185 million expansion at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre will be Canada’s first Tesla dealership.

Sharing proverbial elbow room with the car dealer will include such trendy brands as Ted Baker London, kate spade new york, Diesel, Wilfred Boutique, the North Face, an exclusive Rolex boutique at Raffi Jewelers, and others. A perfect fit, right?

Tesla is a new kind of car, and its maker wants to prove its unorthodox way of marketing them is improved as well. If the company hits on stride with today’s demographic trends, we may be looking back in a couple years and saying its insights were nigh to genius – as fans are already saying even before all proof comes in.

At least that is Tesla’s implicit hope, and it’s clear where the company wants to take things, as evidenced in part by an excerpt from George Blankenship’s official bio:

As Apple's Vice President of Real Estate, George created one of the most successful, brand-bolstering retail growth plans in history. Taking what he calls a "Smart Growth HitList" approach to international markets, he spread Apple’s influence across Asia, Europe and North America. Apple's retail savvy was repeatedly praised by Fortune Magazine, among others. His global growth experience is especially applicable as Tesla continues to open new, innovative stores around the world.

To be sure, Blankenship has been set free to play to his strengths, and with his re-shifted focus on creatively proliferating the nifty new electric cars made in Fremont, Calif., it all stands to potentially become an encore to his previous successes, as Tesla offers its full blessing.

“At Tesla, George's goal is to re-imagine the way people buy cars, forgoing the traditional dealership model in favor of stylish, consumer-focused showrooms,” says Tesla.

So here’s a quick pop quiz for you: What do Tesla Motors and Ann Taylor have in common?

Right, you guessed it. Both are among those retailers entering the Canadian market with flagship stores in Yorkdale’s new expansion.

Other notable new stores include Ta-ze and Joey Restaurants, Holt Renfrew, Lacoste and Club Monaco which will have refurbished and larger locations within the expansion. LOFT will open in an existing space in late 2012.

Yorkdale’s retail expansion is the second of two major developments in 2012, which together will create an additional 190,000 total square feet in the shopping centre at a total cost of $220 million. Yorkdale’s new food court, Dine on 3, launched in June 2012 and accounts for 45,000 square feet of the overall expansion and features restaurants and a new dining area with skylights, fireplaces and an outdoor terrace.

The retail expansion in November will also add a new valet area and 800 underground parking spaces to Yorkdale for a total of 7,400 parking spaces in addition to transit (TTC) access. As a part of the expansion, Yorkdale will feature the same sustainable technologies that are implemented in the existing shopping centre including a green roof, which will make Yorkdale eligible for silver certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

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Porsche 911 (997) Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder

B6 / 3.800 cc / 530 PS / 516 lb/ft (700 Nm) @ 2.100 - 4.250 / biturbo / 4WD / 0 - 62 mph (100 km/h): 3,3 s / 0 - 124 mph (200 km/h): 10,8 s / Vmax: 196 mph (315 km/h) - Limited edition (918 cars), only available for customers who preorder the 918 Spyder

(click images for a larger view)

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