Ferrari unveiled the California, its first retractable hardtop convertible at the 2008 Paris Auto Show. Is this front-engined car a Ferrari for poseurs?
Nissan shows off two new cars at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The Pixo is a small city car powered by an economical gas engine, while the Nuvu looks like it's from outer space. The Nuvu is a concept powered by an electric drive.
After much badgering by DIYers and energy activists, Toyota relented and built a plug-in version of its Prius hybrid, showing it off at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. Noting that the Prius' hybrid system let it run on electricity only during low speed driving, a few DIYers hacked their Priuses to run longer and at higher speeds on electricity, keeping the batteries charged by plugging them in overnight and achieving over 100 mpg in some cases. For a long time, Toyota refused to acknowledge the benefits of plugging in, but now has seen the light, sort of.
The plug-in Prius … Read more
Suzuki showed off a couple of hydrogen-powered vehicles at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. One was based on the relatively new SX-4 model, and the other, in good Suzuki style, was a motorcycle concept called the Crosscage. Both vehicles use electric motors to drive their wheels, and fuel cells combining hydrogen and oxygen to generate the electricity to run those motors. Suzuki has previously built three fuel cell vehicles based on different models.
The base SX-4 is a small, all-wheel-drive car with an economical engine. As the current Suzuki FCV, it gets a 68 kilowatt motor which most likely only … Read more
Rising world-wide gas prices triggered automakers to release a new generation of small city cars at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. These cars range from the diminutive Toyota iQ to the more conventionally-sized Hyundai i20. Engine sizes go from 1 up to 1.5 liters, with fuel economies between 40 and 50 miles per gallon. Not much cabin tech is available in these cars, although, judging from its steering wheel buttons, the new generation Ford Ka might be getting the Sync system.
Although it may be a five-door hatchback, like Toyota's Prius, the Honda Insight concept, unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, probably won't significantly displace the Prius. This concept, set to unveil as a production vehicle at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show and go on sale in the first half of 2009, uses Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system and, as such, is considered a mild hybrid, because it doesn't drive the car under electric power only. IMA integrates a small electric motor with the transmission, which provides extra boost when the car is accelerating, … Read more
Lamborghini owners must be aging, because the company just unveiled a concept four door at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. However, the Lamborghini Estate Estoque doesn't come with wood panels, instead showing design cues reminiscent of the Reventon, the limited production model unveiled at last year's Frankfurt auto show. This design language--using sharpened lines, black mesh air intakes, and LED exterior lights--looks to be the new direction for Lamborghini as it considers adding a third model to the existing Gallardo and Murcielago line-up.
Although, according to Lamborghini's news release, the Estoque could be used to take the … Read more
I just spent two weeks in London and Paris with no computer, phone, or MP3 player. I didn't want to bring a laptop lest I be tempted to work. I was scared to bring my iPhone because of possible horrendous roaming charges and I got three different answers from AT&T about whether Wi-Fi access would be free. (Memo to AT&T: please come up with a single answer and train your phone support people to give it.) I don't have a European-U.S. electrical adapter to recharge any of my gadgets anyway.
Even so, I … Read more
On the heels of this year's Audi A4 redesign comes the new S4, which Audi announced will appear at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The 2006 Audi S4, the sport version of the A4, impressed us enough in 2005 to clinch an Editors' Choice. This new version, a 2010 model, shows some radical changes. Where the 2006 model had a 4.2-liter V-8 engine, the new model drops displacement, going down to a 3-liter V-6; but this V-6 is fitted with an intercooled supercharger, which, along with Audi's direct injection technology, pumps up the horsepower to 333. Audi'… Read more