The green momentum in the automotive industry is undeniable, with every automaker developing towards the electrification of the car. A surprising number of electric concepts were on display at the 2009 Detroit auto show, including cars from GM, Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, and Smart. Some of these concepts are far-flung, but some are currently on the road, being tested for eventual mass production.
Updated at 1:35 p.m. PT with corrected information on the supply arrangement and additional details.
Tesla Motors has signed a deal to supply power train components to Daimler for an electric version of the German auto giant's Smart mini-car, called the Electric Smart EV, which is expected to be available within two years.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, announced the deal at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Tuesday. On Sunday, Tesla unveiled a higher-end Sport version of its Tesla Roadster electric sports car.
Tesla will supply the battery pack and on-board charger … Read more
At the 2009 Detroit auto show, you will be greeted by a tranquil surprise if you venture below the main hall down to the lower level Michigan Hall--silently running cars drive along a curving road running through a pine forest. Yes, you are still inside, and much warmer than if you were out in Michigan's winter. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation set up this forest scene, inviting car companies to show off cars that can run on electricity. Visitors will be able to take a ride in cars such as the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Dodge Durango Hybrid, Cadillac Escalade … Read more
The rumors before the 2009 Detroit Auto Show were true, Cadillac showed off a concept based on the Volt series hybrid power train. The Cadillac Converj concept shows off a low, sporty looking 2+2 coupe design with Cadillac's Art and Science design language present through-out. With the Converj roll-out, GM had a few announcements about its series hybrid efforts, such as its intention to build a factory to produce automotive batteries.
The powertrain for the Converj and the upcoming production Volt now has a name: GM calls it Voltec. This power train uses an electric motor to drive … Read more
Honda generated a lot of excitement last year when it announced the 2010 Insight, a new dedicated hybrid. Could it unseat Toyota's Prius from the hybrid throne? But Toyota wasn't about to let this upstart go unchallenged, announcing an update to the current generation Prius, which has been in production since 2004. We got to see both production vehicles at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, and set them against each other in a series of photos. Will the Insight bring fresh thinking to the hybrid space? Will Toyota sit on its laurels, or give the Prius the update … Read more
I had the opportunity to spend a few hours driving a 2010 Honda Insight on city streets and backroads of Carefree, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix, when it was introduced to the automotive media last month.
Driving the 2010 Honda Insight is a bit different from driving any other CVT-equipped car. Regenerative braking is noticeable on deceleration, allowing less use of the antilock disc/drum hydraulic brakes. There are also two new features on the Insight not found in other cars--EcoAssist and Econ mode.
With 98 horsepower, developed fairly high in the rev range at 5,800rpm, and 123 pound-feet … Read more
Hinted at for a while, and shown in prototype form at the Los Angeles Auto Show in late November, the second-generation Honda Insight was formally introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 11. The embargo date has passed, and now it can be told: we saw and drove it in Phoenix a month ago.
As the Civic has gotten bigger and moved a bit upscale, Honda has needed to fill its old place in the lineup. The Fit does that quite well, at least for people looking for a sportier than average small gasoline-only hatchback. … Read more
Lexus' timing couldn't be better as it releases an economy luxury car during the current economic troubles. The once wealthy who find themselves in straitened circumstances can still toodle around in a Lexus. The HS 250h is a dedicated hybrid--there is no gasoline equivalent in the Lexus lineup, making it a first for the automaker. The proportions and power train come close to the Camry, and the styling is hardly what we would call refined, but the cabin features the latest Lexus gadgets, including a new interface controller, hard-drive-based navigation, and natural language voice command system.
For all you well-heeled auto fanatics, there is good news: Tesla Motors has made a faster car.
The luxury electric carmaker on Sunday lifted the curtain on the Tesla Roadster Sport at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Tesla said it has begun taking orders for the $128,500 sportscar, which will be available in late June.
The Roadster Sport has a bit more zip off the line than the original rocket-like Roadster, Tesla's first electric car favored by tech tycoons and Hollywood types.
The Sport accelerates from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 … Read more
Rather than focus solely on muscle cars, embattled U.S. automakers General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler touted a coming generation of electric vehicles at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The firm, which is healthier financially than GM or Chrysler, partnered with Magna International to develop an electric passenger car that can go 100 miles on a charge from lithium-ion batteries. Ford will add hybrid … Read more