At the 2008 New York auto show, Mercedes-Benz offered a restyled SL Roadster for the 2009 model year, along with an AMG version of the car. The AMG version gets a newly developed multi-clutch transmission based on the seven-speed automatics used in previous AMG models.
Nissan showed off its electric-powered concept vehicle at the 2008 New York auto show. Based on Nissan's existing Cube small car, currently sold in Japan, the Denki Cube concept uses an electric powertrain with lithium ion batteries.
Two years ago, Zap, the electric transportation specialist out of Santa Rosa, Calif., talked about coming out with a luxury, all-electric SUV called the Zap-X in late 2008 or early 2009. Things have changed a bit.
The company now plans to kick off its electric car strategy with the Alias, a three-wheeled electric car, CEO Steve Schneider said in a phone interview. The company hopes to have a working prototype later this year and then start selling cars in 2009.
Zap and China's Youngman Automotive Group, through a joint venture called Detroit Electric, will then follow up with an … Read more
SAN JOSE, Calif.--Silicon Valley is sparking a revolution in alternative-fuel autos, but it may take awhile--too long perhaps--to effect change in Detroit, according to a panel of auto executives.
A group of electric and traditional carmakers spoke here Friday at the Joint Venture Silicon Valley conference about innovation, why alternative carmakers are attracted to the Valley, and whether nimble upstarts can overshadow the big Detroit automakers. The consensus was that Silicon Valley is commanding the attention of the auto world, whether it will dominate or not.
"We're not going to take over China or Detroit, but every … Read more
INDIAN WELLS, Calif.--Tesla Motors is contemplating selling the drivetrains and software components necessary to build electric cars to other companies.
The company will probably come out with an announcement on this initiative in the second quarter of this year, and parts and software from Tesla could start shipping to other carmakers by 2010 or earlier, said Tesla Chairman Elon Musk during an interview at the Clean Tech Investor Summit taking place this week in Indian Wells, near Palm Springs. Of course, any third-party deals will depend on Tesla's success in getting its own cars on the road. The … Read more
Automakers used this year's Detroit auto show to launch a number of significant new cars and model upgrades, featuring the latest in cabin and powertrain tech. Ford and Dodge went head to head with new pickups, and we saw many exciting new sports cars.
Toyota surprised us with a plug-in hybrid Prius on the floor at the 2008 Detroit auto show. The company has resisted the plug-in hybrid movement previously, citing the fact that you don't need to plug in the Prius as a virtue. But there has been quite a bit of interest in plug-in hybrids from individuals and even power companies. Plug-in proponents claim to get 100 mpg by modifying Priuses and recharging the batteries when the cars aren't being used. Toyota seems to have finally given into the plug-in pressure, starting up its own plug-in program and handing over … Read more
Car makers showed off a huge number of concept cars at the Detroit Auto Show, indicating new creative efforts in design departments around the world. The cars shown ranged from vehicles that are ready for production to much more speculative designs.
For the past year, we've seen various Mazda concepts expressing the Nagare, or flow, theme, including the Ryuga, Hakaze, and Taiki. But the Furai, shown at the 2008 Detroit auto show, gives real hints of Mazda's production plans. The Furai uses flow lines around the hood and in the side vents, but the wheels are mounted conventionally. Mazda says that the Furai is a study intended to bridge the gap between road and race cars. The Furai is built on a chassis used in Mazda endurance racers, and uses a three rotary engine putting out 450 horsepower, which … Read more
At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, diesel cars grabbed their share of the limelight, as manufacturers such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW prepare to import new diesel vehicles to the U.S. New diesel engines promise performance equivalent to gasoline cars but much better mileage, and new technology means cleaner emissions.